This paper provides key results from an exploratory research study aimed at understanding the current landscape in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa with regard to their appetite for, and use of, open innovation. The survey, which was conducted within a contained group of SMEs that belong to business network groups on Linkedln, explored the current use and perception of open innovation. It was found that collaboration is the approach most preferred by the SMEs surveyed, with customers and suppliers as their preferred innovation partners. Based on the findings of the survey, this paper proposes 25 design requirements, grouped into five functional categories, for an open innovation approach. The design requirements have been developed as a primer to a more complete open innovation approach for SMEs.

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