Is open innovation well suited to small cities? The case of 14 open innovations from agri-food small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the south-west of France


This article focuses on open innovation practices of SMEs located in small cities. It deals particularly the purpose character of these practices, but also the partnerships which are mobilized in these innovations through a case study of 14 open innovations developed by 10 agrifood SMEs located in small cities of south-west France. The SMEs’ characteristics and the location in a small city influence the openness of the innovation processes. These product and process innovations are often incremental and oriented towards the demand. The entrepreneur plays an important role in the emergence of these processes. Our analysis shows that these SMEs are looking for a related variety by collaborating, in particular with public research entities. It also highlights the essential role of social and geographic temporary proximities in order to access to external resources.
JEL Codes: O31, R11

  • SME
  • Small City
  • Innovation
  • Open innovation
  • Agri-food Industry
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