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  • Julia Carlson

Embracing Open Innovation Practices in Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and changed every aspect of life. Due to rapid and unpredictable changes brought on by COVID-19, innovation and collaboration emerged as strategies for addressing some of the most complex health care issues the world is facing. As discussed in the article, Open Innovation in Times of Crisis, businesses have embraced open innovation as a means of addressing pertinent public health problems.

You may be wondering, what exactly is open innovation? At its core, open innovation is the process of generating new ideas and knowledge across organizations and individuals. Traditionally, innovation has been an internal practice for organizations. However, open innovation opens organizations to fresh ideas and collaboration with those outside of their internal team.

Crowdsourcing is one component of open innovation that has been vital during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential to crowdsource information from a wide array of stakeholders, including universities and pharmaceutical companies, in order to solve the emerging public health problems exacerbated by COVID-19. As stated in the article, “open crowdsourcing and social innovation provide collaborative approaches for further prevention and recovery.” This notion is key to solving future public health issues, as public health is focused on preventative measures.

Logo for HRSA's Building Bridges to Better Health: A Primary Healthcare Challenge

As an open innovation consulting firm, Ensemble has collaborated with federal agencies such as the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), and the National Institute on Drugs and Alcohol (NIDA) on public health initiatives embracing the power of open innovation. This includes HRSA’s Building Bridges to Better Health and HRSA’s Promoting Pediatric Primary Prevention (P4) Challenge. Both challenges will provide organizations with funding to establish public health programs in underserved areas across the United States, furthering HRSA’s mission of improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, and medically vulnerable.

Logos for HRSA's P4 Challenge and NIDA's CODE Challenge

Open innovation empowers organizations to crowdsource new ideas and establishes cross-organizational collaboration. This, in turn, leads to innovative solutions to today’s most pressing challenges. At Ensemble, we are proud to be at the forefront of open innovation and crowdsourcing work. Together with our key public health clients, including HHS and NIDA, we look forward to developing and supporting new public health approaches and solutions.

To learn more about our open innovation offerings check out

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