The Odd Couple: Contrasting Openness in Innovation and Science

By • on November 9, 2020

The Taylor and Francis Online website posted a research article which noted that over the last few decades, two domains have undergone seemingly similar transformations: Closed innovation turned into open innovation, closed science into open science. In this essay we engage critically with recent calls for a close coupling of the two domains based on their apparent commonality: openness. Comparing the historically-specific ways in which openness has been defined and mobilized, we find substantial differences between open innovation and open science. Contrasting openness in innovation and science helps anticipate some of the unintended consequences that a close coupling of these domains might yield. Reflecting upon these unintended consequences can help policy-makers and researchers to fine-tune their concepts for new forms of engagement across the science-practice divide.

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