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Fear of cross-border knowledge sharing hinders innovation and entrepreneurship




In early December, the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands will host the annual World Open Innovation Conference. Under the theme of “Building a Successful Ecosystem Through Open Innovation,” organizations want to focus on what they can do to build a successful ecosystem for open innovation. This is an interesting subject for two reasons. On the one hand, the Netherlands is proud to build a successful ecosystem through open innovation, and on the other hand, this principle has been under great pressure recently.

Our society seems to feel more stress and discomfort with each new cross-border contact. example? Chinese Cultural Institute in a Dutch city, non-Western researchers at our Institute of Technology, ASML Syrian employees, campuses sold to American (or Singaporean?) Investors, for Chinese customers High-tech machine. I want to stay far away from suspicious activities, what are the consequences?

Innovation thrives on knowledge sharing, collaboration, and openness. This applies to both academia and (high-tech) entrepreneurship. Few people disagree with the principle, but our political reality is often at odds with it. A single incident can question a system that is functioning properly in its own right. When these two incidents occur, the entire system is wasted.

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apply!Tough story

Left-to-right politicians don’t like naive views, so tough stories are a way to keep their supporters tied up. And they opposed the Confucius Institute and put an end to our Neso office in Moscow. They get angry when Eindhoven’s tech business park gets into the hands of foreigners and show their understanding when trading partners ban the largest companies in Europe from selling machines to China soon. .. They remain silent when the technical talents of the war zone are denied work at the same company and consider all Asians at Dutch universities to be a national risk. The result is a suspicious atmosphere of substantive cooperation and ultimately no benefit to anyone.

Don’t get me wrong. We need to speak loudly about injustice. The Dutch history as a slave trader does not deprive us of the right to call on other countries regarding human rights. We don’t have to keep quiet about the dangers of “our” unique knowledge falling into the hands of foreign countries, as we ourselves have stolen it everywhere for decades. Also, while our own large trade associations around the world are depleting the planet, we should not be silent about the negative effects of foreign big tech on our national security.

human rights

We must continue to speak out about human rights abuses and the theft of valuable knowledge to both governments and Western allies that do not resemble democratic ideals. We know deeply that if the principles of democracy are well implemented, they can be good conditions for a wonderful society. But keep in mind that countries can also make their own choices in the context of that political competition. This does not immediately say everything about the value of human activity in the field. Specifically, the lives of individual Russians, Chinese, Americans, Nigerians, Syrians, Dutch, and all other nations were as open as possible, whatever the administration decides. You can still benefit greatly from the relationship. Free exchange of ideas, people and things: it helps mankind move forward.

This type of plea always gets a naive label. However, the accusations are often a fallacy to disguise hypocrisy. It’s often packaged as a joke: Hey, if no other country can help us, why do we need to be a fool? The answer is simple. Because all of us can benefit. Cross-border academic cooperation (including students traveling around the world) is important to take our knowledge and our partners’ knowledge to a higher level. Cultural exchange helps us to better understand each other. The unlimited movement of talent makes both those individuals and their employers stronger. And the performance of investors, whether foreign or domestic, is always more important than their origin.

We have to fight the excess of all these activities associated with itself, but by labeling the activities themselves as naive and undesirable, we make the world, and with it. Make yourself unhappy. And that’s even worse, because we need the entire planet to tackle today’s problems. The World Open Innovation Conference, especially in the Netherlands, can insist on this.




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