News Article — August 8, 2023 — Claire Jowell

Open Innovation Program Toolkit

Open innovation is a collaborative approach to problem-solving that looks beyond the boundaries of the organization to find new, creative solutions to consequential problems.

The Open Innovation Program (OIP) aims to bridge the gap between the innovation needs in the private and public sectors, and the local small and growing businesses (SGBs) that can provide needs-oriented solutions. The program has been piloted by 6 African innovation support organisations (ISOs) since 2021.

This toolkit has been developed by Viridian together with the Make-IT in Africa and implementing ISOs. It provides a customisable program framework (published under open license) and provides knowledge, tips and tools for African organisations to leverage to run their own Open Innovation Program.

Download the toolkit now (9,7 KB)

What is this toolkit for?

The OIP Toolkit is a guide for African ISOs who want to increase collaboration readiness among SGBs and large enterprises from the private and public sectors in their ecosystem. Collaboration between these different stakeholders through a process of open innovation offers a pathway to delivering innovative solutions to formidable problems at scale.

By providing a set of principles and best practices for the key aspects of the open innovation process, this toolkit creates a foundation for ISOs to design and customise their own OIP. The toolkit includes an overview of the core OIP model, guidelines, templates, and supplementary materials that ISOs can grab as needed to design and implement their program.


How to use this toolkit

There is no single roadmap for open innovation. The process of building partnerships between SGBs and the private sector will be different depending on the ISO, the partner landscape, and the country-industry context. Rather than a step-by-step guide, this toolkit is broken into chapters that correspond to different phases of an OIP. Each chapter offers some background, top tips, and additional resources on the different elements of the OIP model.


The toolkit also includes four case studies that give a behind-the-scenes look at the organising and facilitating processes, which include Open Innovation Zambia with BongoHive and Open Innovation Uganda with StartHub Africa. They serve as examples of the different shapes open innovation can take.

Download the toolkit now (9,7 KB)

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