The Open Innovation Research Cluster

for Non-Ferrous Metals at RWTH Aachen University

AMAP FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the basic idea of Open Innovation?
A: To put in one sentence: “Open innovation is the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation” [Chesbrough, H., 2006]. One boundary to Open Innovation is the traditional internal innovation. The other boundary is Open Source, which means that generated knowledge is shared with everybody and is therefore not equal to Open Innovation.

Q: What does Open Innovation mean in relation to R&D projects?
A: Open Innovation allows companies to generate R&D results in cooperation with horizontal partners (competitors) and vertical partners (customers, suppliers) as well as research institutes and universities. [Hagedoorn, J., 2014] Open Innovation can be understood as an antithesis to internal R&D activities in which internally generated results are only distributed within the company. [Chesbrough, H., 2006]

Q: What are the benefits of becoming an AMAP member?
The AMAP cluster allows you to cooperate with companies of the aluminium value chain and the RWTH Aachen University in mutual research projects. The interdisciplinary partners generate innovation impulses, multiply their innovation resources and share their stakes in comparison to a conventional, bilateral cooperation.

Q: How are the Intellectual Property (IP) rights regulated in an AMAP project?
A: The team members are already bound by company contracts. The IP rights of each project are regulated in an individual agreement, signed by all project members.

Q: Is it allowed to share project results with everybody at AMAP or external companies?
In general you are only allowed to share project results with the team members that you agreed on. However, project information can be communicated or even shared depending on their classification and importance.

Q: Is cross project communication possible?
Cross project communication is a vital part of AMAP to accelerate innovation processes and promote interdisciplinary cooperation. We support internal communication by workshops, colloquia and presentations. However, project agreements have to be respected and guidelines for internal communication and publications should be followed.

Q: For how long do we have to be a member at AMAP?
A membership should last at least three years with the possibility of extension. It should be the goal to establish a long term cooperation.

Q: How much does it cost to become an AMAP member?
As an AMAP member, each company has to pay a basic membership fee plus additional project costs which are equally shared between the partners. Additional project costs are dependent on the budget and demands of each project.