Sustaining and Embedding Innovations - wiki JISC Sustaining and Embedding Innovations / Commercial and open approaches to innovation
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Commercial and open approaches to innovation

This section covers:


  • Exploring business opportunities for products and resources
  • Sustaining projects via open approaches.
  • Benefits and challenges of open approaches.
  • Open approaches and institutional change.
  • Open partnerships and communities.
  • The future of openness in education.


Key points:


  • Project teams should consider both commercial and 'open' approaches to sustaining innovation projects - they are not mutually exclusive.
  • Project teams should consider potential business opportunities that arise from their innovations projects.
  • Project teams should consider the pros and cons of both approaches and what the implications are for sustainability and embedding. 
  • The education sector should be more proactive in its leadership of open approaches, at individual, institutional and sector levels particularly in the development of an open and co-operative community culture ….. which can underpin the sustaining and embedding of innovations.  
  • Long term sustainability requires institutional embedding as well as co-operative/community approaches at sector (& sector subject) level, which can encourage re-use of content.
  • Open approaches, such as with OER and software development, can act as the catalyst for transformations in scholarship, pedagogy, working practices and business models.
  • Open and business approaches are not necessarily mutually exclusive – they can complement each other.
  • One of the most significant barriers to the use of OERs is the unwillingness of academics to develop, share and use such resources, however JISC innovation projects have shown that such barriers can be overcome by e.g. raising awareness of what’s possible and the benefits to scholarship, research and practice as well implementing staff training (which should ideally be professionally accredited).
  • Open approaches can help to meet Government drivers.
  • There needs to be greater awareness of the benefits and mechanisms of open approaches, not just amongst practitioners but also amongst senior managers and policy-makers.
  • In order for institutions to sustain open approaches, “openness” e.g. for OERs needs to be embedded into key strategies, staff development programmes, working practices, services, quality processes and cost/benefit analyses.
  • The sector should increase its efforts to develop sector approaches, toolkits, resources and management systems to encourage open approaches and sustainable communities.  
  • An open approach to co-operative development (including students), use, re-use and re-purposing of content can underpin the transition to the concept of learning as a process.
  • Whilst IP and licensing is a complex field, Creative Commons licensing and release to an open repository provides a relatively simple approach.
  • Open approaches offer many opportunities for HE and FE to develop new partnerships in business sectors e.g. with employers, sector skills councils, professional bodies and  employer consortia e.g. to develop business sector OERs and technology innovations.
  • Comprehensive information about OER current practice and issues can be found from the synthesis and evaluation report of the JISC OER programme.


The sections on open approaches have been informed by two key JISC events: 


Key Resources

The Academy/JISC OER infoKit provides the main source resources and guidance around OERs for the sector.