The value of the open innovation approach is now widely recognized, and the practice has been extensively researched, but still very little is known about the relative impact of firm-level and laboratory-level open innovation policies and practices on R&D performance. This study attempts to measure that impact by analyzing a sample of 203 laboratories of Japanese firms located in Japan. It examines simultaneously the effects of firm-level open innovation policy and laboratory-level external collaborations on laboratory R&D performance. The study aims to go beyond a general understanding of the importance of open innovation; it shows how an open innovation policy can have a positive and significant effect on collaborations between a laboratory and local universities or business organizations. The results also show how an open innovation policy can contribute to the laboratory's R&D performance by facilitating external collaborations by the laboratories. It demonstrates how these factors affect R&D performance in different ways, depending on the type of R&D tasks. Our findings suggest several theoretical and practical implications in the field of R&D management.