While open innovation has been increasingly adopted in developed countries, firms from emerging markets suchas Brazil markedly fall behind this trend. Our understanding of the reasons behind this phenomenon remains nevertheless limited, since most research focuses on the industrialized world. In this paper, we aim to inspire the academic community to investigate the issue of why companies from emerging economies such as Brazil have limited open innovation strategies, when they need to draw on external partners as to overcome the institutional, resource and capability constraints they are subject to. We build on the argument that latecomer firms in emerging economies need to actively use open innovation more than ever, as to overcome internal rigidities and spur the innovative resources and capabilities required for the digital transformation and for addressing grand societal challenges. In reviewing current research on openness and especially in the Brazilian setting, we contend that it is a relevant empirical context to study, giving the potential to uncover unique mechanisms and theoretical relations by asking (and possibly answering) novel research questions. Building on a conceptual framework that links various implementation levels of open innovation, we identify themes that are either less well researched or contested and thereby suggest challenges and opportunities for future research.