The European Flagship Project on Open Innovation

The Challenge(s) of Open Innovation collaboration between universities and companies

A lot has been said about the benefits of OI in the last decade. Any company, however, who has endeavoured to apply OI practically in any form, has found itself facing a myriad of challenges:

  • How to co-create products together with future users?
  • How to create online knowledge ecosystems connecting universities, RTOs. industries, SMEs and start-ups.
  • How to effectively do 1-to1 knowledge transfer from academia to companies?
  • How to efficiently establish industry innovation labs within universities?
  • How to set up and manage cross-organisational research teams the right way?
  • How to leverage staff mobility between universities, RTOs and other companies?
  • How to incentivise the sharing and usage of research data between researchers and companies

About the Project

The Science2society (S2S) project, which run between 2016-2019, aimed to solve these challenges. 18 leading universities, RTOs and industries and innovation consultancies in Europe, worked together to design better open innovation “interfaces” between industry and companies.

The work focused around 7 thematic pilots, addressing each of the challenges above.

  1. Collaborative R&D projects
  2. Co-creation of products and services
  3. Co-Location (co-labs, co-teams)
  4. Open Innovation Marketplaces
  5. Intersectoral Staff Mobility
  6. University Knowledge Transfer Big Research Data sharing and valorisation
  7. Big Research Data sharing and valorisation

The Results

The results of the project were broadly disseminated across EU . For each of the 7 interface themes, the following was produced and is available online:

Additionally, a policy brief on how policy makers can facilitate the open approach to innovation is published. Finally, it is worth browsing through the entire knowledge base collected by the project which includes OI case studies, best practices and tools.

The Role of i2m as an Open Innovation Facilitator

    i2m was one of the cornerstone partners for the S2S project design and preparation, as well as for the development of the pilots on collaborative product/service development and knowledge/technology transfer.
    Through our competences in strategy and innovation consulting in the interface between research and companies, we contributed on the development of the blueprints based on empirical knowledge. Furthermore, we facilitated two workshops with Cambridge IfM, on “Strategy planning” and on “Digitalisation - Prioritising and Selecting the Best Innovative Opportunities”.
    The S2S project also set the foundations for our strategic partnership with the University of Cambridge IfM, as a “consulting hub” for the DACH region working to support SMEs with expertise from the universities.

Read more about our partnership with Cambridge IfM

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 693651