Why do we need the Initiative for Open Innovation?

The problem

Inequity in health, food security and economic status, accelerating climate change, the destruction of our ecosystems and the collapse of our financial institutions: These are challenges of unprecedented scope and urgency. The potential for innovation enabled by science and technology to meet these challenges has never been greater. But with increasing sophistication has come increasing complexity, cost and uncertainty.

The growth, opacity and misunderstanding of the world’s patent systems, and the fragmentation of scientific, technical, regulatory and business information makes navigation of the innovation system an expensive, uncertain and inefficient activity.

This inefficiency excludes communities of problem solvers and impedes creative, collaborative solutions that we must enable.

The solution

The Initiative for Open Innovation (IOI) is a new international facility to increase the effectiveness and equity of science- and technology-enabled innovation for public good.

IOI fosters evidence-based navigation and operation within the complex intellectual property landscapes that surround innovation in such critical areas such health, agriculture, environment and energy.  With an initial focus on life science, IOI will create a comprehensive global cyberinfrastructure that is sector, discipline, jurisdiction and language agnostic.

IOI will also, through ’embedded practice’ explore the boundaries of open innovation to create, test, validate and support new modes of collaborative problem solving made possible with the heightened transparency of the system.

Who’s involved?

IOI is an initiative of Cambia, an autonomous, international, non-profit organisation and is hosted by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). It has received support not only from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lemelson Foundation but also from diverse and widespread international experts who are offering advice and direction as part of an International Advisory Council.


IOI is about making the innovation system more efficient and fair. We want to enable more people to make better decisions, informed by evidence, but guided by imagination. We want to be cartographers of the innovation landscape, so navigation through from idea to product or service and back again can rapidly and affordably produce new value to society. We want to make it possible for more people – and often different people – to serve the public good.