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Five Questions Before Considering an Innovation Alliance

Collaborative innovation with a supplier, competitor, university or startup is just one solution to meeting innovation needs. The answer to at least four of these five questions needs to be "Yes" before spending time evaluating collaborative innovation options?

1. Are the Innovation and Organizational Needs Clearly Defined? Are the technology and organizational needs clearly defined? Can the needs be satisfied with technology-based innovation uniquely and/or does another approach provide the best option?

2. Is the Scope of Stakeholders Identified? Are the stakeholders properly identified; engaged in the process; experienced at technology-based collaborations; and prepared to politically cooperate?

3. Do the Key Stakeholders Have the R&D Resources? What is the innovation capacity in terms of R&D sources, suppliers, financing capacity and standards organizations?

4. Are the Stakeholders Compatible? Are the stakeholders compatible on the basis of their strategic interests, technology needs, financial capacity, culture, operational practices and political/policy positions?

Are there one or more innovation alliance design solutions that both satisfy the needs and are feasible given the stakeholders?


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