Open innovation is a breakthrough growth key for enterprises when it is possible to increase the speed of innovation from 3 to 5 times while saving up to 30% of investment costs (Vietnam Open Innovation Landscape Report 2021).
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Open Innovation - a Breakthrough Growth Key for Enterprises in Technology Revolution

As a part of the “Improving Private Sector Competitiveness" project (abbreviated as IPSC) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and governed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the event "Grow hacking corporate innovation in open innovation era" was jointly organized by the National Innovation Center, BambuUP Open Innovation Platform and Fulbright University Vietnam.

The fourth industrial revolution has created a digital period, with a digital economy and society. Rapidly developing technology, constantly changing customer behavior, and shorter and shorter time to generate new needs. Especially after the pandemic, it makes competition in the market more fierce than ever. Enterprises have to face the task of finding breakthrough strategies, applying technology and innovation to dominate the market, and quickly adapting to the New Normal business environment.

Open innovation is a breakthrough growth key for enterprises when it is possible to increase the speed of innovation from 3 to 5 times while saving up to 30% of investment costs (Vietnam Open Innovation Landscape Report 2021). Some typical enterprises in our country have also actively deeply applied Open Innovation as an internal culture. For instance, SUNHOUSE Group cooperated with Startup to build a smart utility ecosystem that continuously improves for users, or CMC Group opened the Innovation Center and established the CMC Creative Investment Fund. In the past, the foundation of Enterprise Innovation was product development. However, in the continuous and unpredictable change period, creating new products is no longer as important as creating sustainable Innovation for businesses (According to John Seely Brown). Therefore, the problem is how can Vietnamese enterprises be fully equipped with the expertise and necessary conditions for the upcoming process of capacity improvement for open innovation.

In Vietnam, funded by the “Improving Private Sector Competitiveness" project (abbreviated as IPSC) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and governed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the event "Accelerating innovation for businesses in the era of Open Innovation" was jointly organized by the National Innovation Center, BambuUP Open Innovation Platform and Fulbright University Vietnam took place successfully. The event has presentations and talking sessions with a lot of professors, and Open Innovation co-leaders, to enhance the Open innovation capacity of enterprises’ leaders for successful open innovation through patterns, and practical examples on the market in the present day.

In the opening speech of the event, Mr. Do Tien Thinh - Deputy Director of the National Innovation Center (NIC) shared: “Open innovation is a topic of worldwide interest with more than 1 billion searches and applied by numerous large enterprises and corporations around the world as an effective solution and strategy to approach customers. I hope that the most up-to-date information on Open Innovation which the event brings, will encourage businesses to accompany and cooperate with external resources to optimize efficiency in the process of solving business issues. Accordingly, contributing to the replication of innovation to open up a broader scale, reaching out to more subjects and stakeholders.”

Mr. Tran Hoang Thang - IPSC Innovation Program Manager expressed his vision of supporting businesses in the innovation process: “Nowadays, enterprises are still facing a myriad of difficulties when there is no standard innovation process; there is not a high willingness to call for external resources widely and there is not a source of quality, complete and complete information on innovation. Therefore, the USAID-sponsored Project on Strengthening Vietnam's Private Sector Competitiveness will be executed to spread Open Innovation patterns as well as support businesses/corporations to start their open innovation journey, contributing to creating products and breakthrough ideas to meet the needs of society.”

Expanding cooperation, enriching connectivity, and promoting knowledge transfer activities - technology solutions with external resources will be the solution to consolidate and develop innovation ability for enterprises themselves. Besides, Vietnam's startup ecosystem is currently making leaps and bounds, rising to the third position among the top six ASEAN economies. This context is the perfect reason for businesses to accelerate open innovation, and seize the opportunity to accompany Startups to keep up with recent changes.

Participating in the seminar, Mr. Lai Van Kien - R&D Director of SUNHOUSE group shared about the cooperating process with a Startup in the field of Smart Homes that came out of the Shark Tank Vietnam program to gradually construct the most convenient ecosystem at the most affordable cost for customers. “Customers demand a very short lifecycle and are always adjusting. This puts great pressure on businesses in the process of discovering and solving the "pain" for their target customers in the long run. “Customers need a very short lifecycle and are constantly changing. This creates great pressure for businesses in the process of finding and solving the "pain" for their target customers in the long run. Via open innovation, SUNHOUSE can be considered as a launch pad, with products and platforms to attract and absorb knowledge from external resources such as students, or especially startups. We have unlimited resources and are ready to combine with exterior components to realize innovative solutions, helping to bring the best to users.”

Having said that, to successfully accelerate open innovation, enterprises need to meet the criteria according to Ms. Nguyen Huong Quynh - CEO of BambuUP, the criteria are 4 Without: “First, without the right awareness along with determination, it cannot be implemented. Second, without skills in innovation from concept to implementation, it will not be realized. Third, without an appropriate organizational structure, it will not work. Fourth, without the most diverse, continuous, and up-to-date way of collecting innovation information, the enforcement process will not be effective. Innovation truly requires consistency from companies, especially leaders and directors, to succeed.”

The "Grow hacking corporate innovation in open innovation era" event is the starting activity for a series of seminars and consulting-supporting programs to improve innovation capacity for the group, enterprises in particular, and the private sector in general in Vietnam. The private sector now accounts for 40% of GDP, so contributing to enhancing the competitiveness of Vietnam's small and growing businesses, including those run by women and groups' dominant position, is a task in the country's socio-economic development in the coming period (until 2025).

At the end of the event, Ministry, Industry, Enterprise, and Union representatives who are pioneers shook hands to demonstrate their agreement. This shook-hands ceremony also illustrates their determination to bring the innovation pattern to be spread to the private sector. Moreover, it can approach all components in the open innovation startup ecosystem in Vietnam in the future.

Diep Nguyen