Open innovation laboratory in electrical energy education based on the knowledge economy
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© The Author(s) 2019.Electrical energy systems are facing significant challenges as climate changes, and electric energy demands increasingly affect the quality of electrical energy. Since electrical energy impacts social and technological conditions, the economy and energy are strongly related. Smart electric grids, in particular, require new technologies, products, and skilled human resources. However, innovation in electrical systems has been marginal, and skilled human resources are difficult to secure. As a result, several open innovation laboratories have been created to promote open technology and entrepreneurship among engineering students, who often run the laboratories under the guidance of faculty advisors. Such laboratories frequently organize seminars, workshops, hackathons, and meetups; however, they largely fail to produce many marketable products, often due to a lack of collaboration with other innovative facilities and firms. To improve the quality of services in open innovation laboratories, the connection between firms and universities must be appropriately defined and developed. To address this problem, this paper proposes a novel concept for an open innovation laboratory based on the overlapping of four innovation facilities that is capable of changing according to product requirements. This new concept will improve students¿ innovation and learning processes and promote positive relationships between universities and firms. Also, this paper provides new insights into open innovation laboratories that can enhance the quality of the innovations produced by universities. Finally, it presents case studies developed at Tecnologico de Monterrey to validate the open innovation laboratory concept as an influential concept for developing products.