Abstract Competition today is driving firms to introduce products with a higher degree of novelty. Consequently, there is a growing need to understand the critical success factors behind more novel product innovations. This paper theoretically and empirically analyzes the role of different types of collaborative networks in achieving product innovations and their degree of novelty. Using data from a longitudinal sample of Spanish manufacturing firms, our results show that technological collaborative networks are of crucial importance in achieving a higher degree of novelty in product innovation. Continuity of collaboration and the composition of the collaborative network are highly significant dimensions. Collaboration with suppliers, clients and research organizations—in this order—have a positive impact on the novelty of innovation, while collaboration with competitors has a negative impact. The greatest positive impact on the degree of innovation novelty comes from collaborative networks comprising different types of partners.