Blog post #1 European Aim to Lead Innovation

July, 2016

Science2Society creates, pilots and shares good practices, guidelines and training materials that improve awareness and practical performance in seven concrete university-industry-society interfacing schemes especially affected by Science 2.0 and open innovation. It covers a very wide range of interfacing / co-creation approaches (and the synergy between them) and advances far beyond the traditional role of the interface as a facilitator of knowledge transfer from university to business.
Sound methodological frameworks are combined with 'real life' experience from practitioners in science and industry, making the transition from promising blueprints to actual change within some 3000 actors in Europe by 2020. Science2Society does not only collect knowledge and models; it deeply and innovatively analyses how these can be improved (using advanced methods pioneered in business practice such as process re-engineering, design thinking and change management) and runs substantial experiments to validate the created optimized interfacing schemes.

Science2Society assesses the mechanisms through which universities, research organisations, society and industry collaborate to create value. Value can be created through sparkling new ideas, differentiating new products and services, capturing the benefits of publicly funded research and ultimately producing winning solutions for today’s societal challenges.

About the pilots

  • The first pilot (Co-creation, Product development with future users in a Virtual Idea Laboratory ; ProVIL) is a product development project with about 50 students from mechanical engineering and 10 students from industrial engineering held at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The students will develop product concepts in the field of mobility answering a task assignment from an automotive OEM (CRF). ProVIL consists of four phases starting with initial research phase followed by the creating of product profiles and product ideas and ending with the creation of product concepts. The hub for the open innovation process is an innovation platform allowing to systematically perform co-creation in an virtual environment between the students and the automotive OEM.
  • In the second pilot (Co-Location) the consortium will identify the main advantages and bottlenecks of establishing a research collaboration between a multinational company with distributed R&D labs/teams, RTOs and one or more universities. Both industrial / RTOs teams and academic teams may or may not be collocated, but they will al be working on the same research project. CA labs will explore the possibility to create an R&D competence center by the UPC in the mid/long term.
  • For the third pilot, Collaborative R&D&I projects of universities, RTOs, industries, SMEs, and public sector, S2S will develop best practices how cross-organizational research teams should interact when jointly developing novel technologies and exploiting them. The focus of the pilot will be set on how to initiate, facilitate and reward cross-organizational research teams for sharing ideas, information, and knowledge to increase synergy (reconcile individual motivations in one common goal), quality and speed of interaction (foster personal commitment & mutual trust).
  • The fourth pilot focusses on the implementation of intersectoral staff mobility between universities, RTOs and (large and small) companies as an enabler for open science & innovation. Various staff mobility stimuli funding programmes do exist already today. S2S will investigate how current and potential future beneficiaries of such programmes (want to) deploy intersectoral staff mobility in the context of open innovation or what are the bottlenecks for not yet doing so. Guidelines and best practices will be drafted for the beneficiaries and policy briefing information for the agencies and governments for further improving and growing the scheme.
  • In the fifth pilot existing research Big data transfer concepts will be scrutinised. A survey of opportunities, requirements, and bottlenecks for research data provision in different sectors will be conducted. The main outcomes are guidelines and best practices for motivating the researchers to share their research data as well as motivating the industry and society to take advantage and exploit open and available research data.
  • During the sixth pilot the consortium will explore and try to improve the 1 to 1 knowledge transfer from academia to SMEs. For this it will map the current, typical knowledge transfer process, identify the steps and tasks that appear the most problematic, explore possible solutions and summarise the outputs, create guidelines on how to streamline University-SME knowledge transfer.
  • The seventh pilot will focuss on the development and implementation of an Online Open Innovation marketplace for technology transfer to support University’s Technology Transfer Offices’ technology commercialization activitity. Since H. Chesbrough coined the term Open Innovation back in 2003, the Internet Industry growth has boosted the development of “The Sharing Economy” (e.g. Uber, Wase, Airbnb, Upwork). Within this context, many companies are using the Internet as a strategic way to find new technology, innovate faster, engage with new external technology partners more efficiently as well as better position their brands as a “Partner of Choice”. Learning from the Industry best practices and based on existing SoA Open Innovation platform InnogetCloud, this pilot will challenge Universities to create processes and implement tools to foster Technology Transfer from a technology push approach by creating a research base community that can be directly linked to external market oriented stakeholders (Industry, RTOs, VC, Startups, and SMEs).

Science2Society will disseminate its results throughout Europe, aiming to successfully replicate the best university / industry / society collaboration programmes to a large number of stakeholders. European researchers are using collaboration to positively shape the European research agenda.