Cooperation in the food industry: contributions and limitations of the open innovation model

Par Corinne Tanguy
This article focuses on the multi-partner relationships between agrofood firms and external stakeholders to innovate, which some authors today call the Open Innovation model (Chesbrough, 2003). Based on various studies we have conducted on innovation and cooperation processes in agrofood companies, we show that innovation processes are not always “open”, as some companies prefer to develop their innovations internally. For various reasons (confidentiality, obstacles in protecting innovations, difficulties in establishing relationships in the absence of internal R&D, etc.) these firms can choose to innovate without recourse to external partners. Furthermore, we discuss the hypothesis that geographical proximity between companies and stakeholders would automatically result in a greater ability to absorb external knowledge and technologies. “Remote” cooperation is strong and organised proximity plays a key role in facilitating the cooperation.
JEL Codes: D21, L20, L66, O32
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