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Open Innovation and Real World Examples

Discuss about the Advanced Innovation Management for Water Resource Industry.

The purpose of this report is to provide brief information about the importance and impact of open innovation in the community. The given case study evaluates the position of Singapore with respect to innovation worldwide. The country has shifted its place from sixth to seventh in Global Innovation Index, 2017. In regards to which the Singapore authority decided to $19 billion in the field of science and technology for next five years so that, the country can become a global hub innovation and entrepreneurship. Further, the report evaluates the importance of open innovation worldwide and key examples that explains the use of innovation by different countries. Further, it also elaborates best practices of open innovation around the globe in environmental sustainability and water resource industry. The latter part of the report implies the implementation of open innovation in the industry of Singapore. Further, more details about the report are discussed below:

Open innovation refers to the process of mobilizing the internal as well as external resources and ideas in order to innovate the activities of an organization along with products and services offered by them. The main purpose of the process of open innovation is to embrace the external aspects available to them and effectively organize them to increase the efficiency of the organization in the target market (Vanhaverbeke, & Cloodt, 2014). Open innovation helps the organization in eliminating the problems present with them and introducing beneficial outcomes of the event. This process of innovation helps the countries in becoming competitive in the environment and reducing the cost of development as well. Open innovation can be in aspect of the organization or industry. With the help of this type of innovation, the countries increase their competency and use the resources more wisely. Further, various aspects of the process of open innovation offer several benefits to the organizations using it (Van de Vrande, Vanhaverbeke, & Gassmann, 2010). The process of open innovation creates synergies between the internal and external innovations present with the organization. Further, it is important for the organizations to incorporate such open innovation in their strategies to attain benefits in the environment. Apart from innovating the products and services, the organization make use of open innovation to enhance environmental sustainability and manage water reservoirs as well (Vanhaverbeke, Van de Vrande, & Cloodt, 2008). Some of the real world examples of open innovation used by organizations worldwide in this industry are discussed below:

  • As the fact is known to all, that companies present in the current environment are working with a profit making mind-set. This objective of is helping the organizations to gain bucks in the market but it is increasing the concern of environmental sustainability and water scarcity. Coca-Cola Company also comes in the list of organization that excessively makes use of water and other natural resources. In regards to which the company Coca-Cola (Australia) made use of open innovation practices for the purpose of environmental sustainability. The company initiated wastewater treatment process, under this process the organization replenished the water that was used in global sales volume and provided it back to the communities and nature as well. As major content used in making beverages is water, due to which the company faced the need to preserve water. With every plant of Coca-Cola, the management settled a wastewater treatment plant that can purify the water at the same time and send it back to the society. Further, the company also started producing ‘PlantBottles’ that are fully recyclable. The bottle and cans are formed through plant-based plastic that are easy to recycle. So, these were the open innovation strategies initiated by the company Coca-Cola (Coca-Cola, 2018).
  • Just like the company Coca-Cola, PepsiCo also initiated various open innovation strategies in their business to contribute their share in the environmental sustainability and water resource industry. The company converts oat hull waste into an environmental friendly, inexpensive energy source. With the use of hi-tech innovative technology available with them, the company started using renewable biomass (oat hull) instead of fossil fuel (natural gas). Oat hull, a by product received in the process of production of Oats helps the organization in fuelling the biomass boiler. This process helped the company in using the by products and significantly making their initiative in eliminating greenhouse gases. This initiative of PepsiCo led in Brazil reduced the use of natural gas by 456,000 cubic meters. Resulting to which, the production process of the company eliminated the emission of carbon di oxide in the environment. Further, the company also started producing green bottles that are entirely biodegradable. These bottles are formed using natural bio-based raw material like switch grass, corn husks, and pine-barks (PepsiCo, 2018).
  • Vodokanal of St. Petersburg is an organization based in Russia is involved in water management and water utilities activity. The company make use of innovative strategies to ensure that water is reserved for the people to use. At all the stages of purification of water like ozonization, sedimentation etc. the company make use of innovative technology available to them so that they can effectively utilize the internal resources and make best use of it in the external environment. The company also organized a treatment plant to reduce the iron concentration present in tap water. The company also tested innovative ways to reduce the energy consumption and provide better assistance to the people living in Russia. The company effectively utilized all the available external as well as internal resources in treating wastewater sludge and initiate wastewater disinfection (Unglobal Compact, 2010) 

Best Practices of Innovation in Environmental Sustainability and Water Resource Industry

Apart from the finance, manufacturing and service industries, it is important for the company to shift their concern to the environmental sustainability and water resource industry. So, below mentioned are some of the best practices in open innovation that should be initiated by companies to sustain the activities of environment:

  • Sustainable Farming Systems: It is awful to know that agriculture also contributes to the water pollution by a non-point source. Diffuse pollution can arise from many activities organized on the farm. Many substances used in the process of farming also affect the environment in a negative manner. So, in order to manage the negative environmental aspect, the companies present in this industry should widely make use of resources that are natural and do not have any negative impact on the soil (West, Salter, Vanhaverbeke, & Chesbrough, 2014). With an aim to initiate open innovation practices, the organizations should use conservative agriculture techniques to minimize the delivery and transportation of agriculturally derived. In order to diffuse pollution, the governments of different countries should provide various machines to the companies so that they can easily deliver the material and extract water effectively. The company should also use innovative practices to reduce the wastage of water and make use of by products received from the agricultural process (Carrillo-Hermosilla, del González, & Könnölä, 2009). The open innovation practices should be utilized in such a way that it does not pollute the environment through chemical and biological transformation. Further, the organizations should also make use of integrated pest management system so as to in order to prevent, avoid, monitor and suppress risk associated with the process of farming.
  • Economic Sustainability: innovative activities in preservation of water resource management will eliminate most of problems faced by people worldwide. As mentioned above, it is very important for the companies nowadays to make use of open innovation strategies in this field so as to improve the stability of the environment. The companies present in the environment to initiate activities that eliminate the wastage of water reserves in the environment (Luan, 2010). The manmade activities should assist the environment and not hamper the natural resource. The food products producing companies should make use of innovative machine that purify the water without wasting it. The food manufacturing organizations should take care of the concern of water scarcity more proactively. The organizations should also aim to achieve long term stability of their investments made in the field of open innovation. Considering it as the most important field of innovation, the organizations should invest in this field in such a way that the reservoirs are preserved and economic benefits are received.

Open innovation does not only refers to innovating products and services for the better functioning of the organization. Nevertheless, open innovation refers to innovating any aspect that creates new and beneficial change for the companies and the environments as well. In response to which, the governments of different countries should form the legislation to make use of a fixed quantity of water resource. Reserves used more than the yardstick should impose penalty on the companies. The companies should also keep good accountability for efficient cost reduction and profit generation. The companies should calculate profit per mega litre and yield per mega litre (Wong, & Brown, 2009).

  • Environmental sustainability: The best way to sustain the environment is to reduce the consumption of natural resources and replace it other resources. The companies should start using solar panels, wind energy etc. to absorb energy and make use of it for their business process. It is important to consider that the innovation initiated should be economic along with effective (K?lk??, 2016). The innovation should successfully drive environmental changes in the environment. Further, with respect to the part of open innovation, it is important for the companies to innovate their way of using natural resources as well. With the use of adequate technologies, the compnies should find out various ways to innovate their activities for the motive of environmental sustainability (Speight, 2015).

The innovation initiated should be regarded as an open innovation, not a closed one. The only difference between open innovation and closed innovation is that the process of open innovation requires the use of both internal and external resources for the growth of the organization whereas closed innovation refers to the process of closed innovation, the organization commercialize its own ideas using the internal available resources only. Thus, the companies present in the environment should aim to compensate with the natural resources that they use by initiating innovative activities with the use of available resources present with them. The open innovation should be initiated in such a way that it provides output of the money invested by the organizations in this field (Dhalla, 2017). 

It is important to note the looking at the various sectors in Singapore the environmental sustainability and water resource industry face highest need to make use of open innovation so as to reduce the extent of water scarcity available with them. The people of Singapore face emergent need to increase the amount of fresh water available with them (Tietenberg, & Lewis, 2016). The people of the country use 430 million gallons of water in a day that too much to use, resulting to which the country faces water scarcity. In response to which, it is important for the council of industry to invest $19 billion in the science and technology field so that they can bring successful innovations that can help the company to save the natural resources. Implementation of open innovation in this industry is discussed below:

Implementation of Open Innovation in Singapore Industry

Source: (Chesbrough, 2003)

  • It is expected that the current water demand will double itself by the end of year 2060. As the PUB department of Singapore is responsible for water sustainability in the environment, so they should initially find out the areas where the country is wasting their natural resources. In response to which, the department should then find out various innovative plans and measures to sustain the water resources of the country (Sachs, 2015).
  • As a part of the environment conservation plan of the country, the council of department should invest the money and time on creating new energy conservation, rainwater harvesting, and climate change detector machines. These machines will help them to proactively take measures for the betterment of community and spread innovation in the environment. Singapore department should research the innovative technology used by other countries in protecting their resources and conserving the environment and then then aim to mould and adopt similar technology in their society as well. This process will open ways for innovation in the business (Wheeler, & Beatley, 2014).
  • Lastly, the department should involve various companies in their project and motivate them to make use of open innovation so as to use the resources wisely. These multinational organizations will help the country to achieve their objective through the CSR activities conducted by them (Baranenko, Dudin, Lyasnikov, & Busygin, 2014). 


Thus, in the limelight of above mentioned events, the fact should be noted that the environmental sustainability and water resource industry is the industry that required innovation to the maximum extent in Singapore. The country Singapore faces many issues in the industry resulting to which there is greater scope for the organizations to make use of innovation in such a way that challenges are eliminated and benefits are derived from the innovative practices of the country. Also, the country Singapore is lacking behind in the field of innovation, so open innovation in this field will provide dual benefits to the community and its people. Open innovation has become an important need for the organization as it helps them in deriving benefits from the available resources (internal and external). The above mentioned report provides a detailed analysis of real world examples and use of open innovation in this industry. The report successfully complies with the requirement of the assessment.

There are few recommendations given to the governmental bodies and other organizations of Singapore in order to apply open innovation in their business:

  • The process of open innovation has a very critical path; it is not easy for the organizations to make use of open innovation in their business. Many times organizations fail to make use of adopted open innovation. So, the companies adopting innovation in the environmental sustainability and water resource industry should use it wise because one mistake can negative impact the reserves of the country.
  • The council of department has provided optimum funds in the field of science and technology, so the department should aim initiate open innovation instead of closed innovation as they have available resources and technology as well.
  • The process of sustainability should be attained in the field of innovation as well. The organizations using and adopting innovation should aim to use it for long run so as to create an impact worldwide. So, the innovation adopted should not be cost-ineffective and user friendly as well.
  • With the above information provide, the readers can understand the importance of open innovation specifically in the field of environmental sustainability and water resource industry. With such information, the department should make use of available resources in the right direction to attain dual benefits for the country Singapore. 


Baranenko, S., Dudin, M., Lyasnikov, N., & Busygin, K. (2014). Use of environmental approach to innovation-oriented development of industrial enterprises.

Carrillo-Hermosilla, J., del González, P. R., & Könnölä, T. (2009). What is eco-innovation?. In Eco-innovation (pp. 6-27). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Chesbrough, H. (2003). Open innovation. Retrived from: <>

Coca-Cola, (2018). A World Without Waste: Coca-Cola Announces Ambitious Sustainable Packaging Goal. Retrieved from:

Dhalla, A. M. (2017). Developing a Global Hydrohub: Singapore's Leadership in Water Innovation. In Chemistry and Water (pp. 541-552).

K?lk??, ?. (2016). Sustainability-oriented innovation system analyses of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Turkey and Singapore. Journal of Cleaner Production, 130, 235-247.

Luan, I. O. B. (2010). Singapore water management policies and practices. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 26(1), 65-80.

PepsiCo, (2018). PepsiCo Brazil Biomass Program. Retrieved from: <>

Sachs, J. D. (2015). The age of sustainable development. Columbia University Press.

Speight, V. L. (2015). Innovation in the water industry: barriers and opportunities for US and UK utilities. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 2(4), 301-313.

Tietenberg, T. H., & Lewis, L. (2016). Environmental and natural resource economics. UK: Routledge.

Unglobal Compact, (2010). SUE “Vodokanal of St.Petersburg": Report in the field of Sustainable Development. Retrieved from <>

Van de Vrande, V., Vanhaverbeke, W., & Gassmann, O. (2010). Broadening the scope of open innovation: past research, current state and future directions. International Journal of Technology Management, 52(3/4), 221-235.

Vanhaverbeke, W., & Cloodt, M. (2014). Theories of the firm and open innovation. New frontiers in open innovation, 256-278.

Vanhaverbeke, W., Van de Vrande, V., & Cloodt, M. (2008). Connecting absorptive capacity and open innovation.

West, J., Salter, A., Vanhaverbeke, W., & Chesbrough, H. (2014). Open innovation: The next decade.

Wheeler, S. M., & Beatley, T. (Eds.). (2014). Sustainable urban development reader. UK: Routledge.

Wong, T. H. F., & Brown, R. R. (2009). The water sensitive city: principles for practice. Water Science and Technology, 60(3), 673-682.

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