Final report 2014
Foreword 3
Co-creative challenge driven
SLU/Alnarp Innovation
The Innovation Model Origo
Prototyping the Future
BTH/BTH Innovation
Experimenting towards
increased utilization
The bridge between
Academia and Industry
Open Arena 5 (OA5) was an EU-financed
collaborative project 2011–2014 between the
five universities in the region of Scania–Blekinge in Sweden: Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH), Kristianstad University (HKR),
Malmö University (MaH), Lund Universitet
(LU) and The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). The project started in a
common initiative to develop and strengthen
the role of higher education institutions and
their contribution to the development of Scania–Blekinge as one of the most innovative
regions in Europe.
The purpose of OA5 was to further develop
the way the univeristies and industry work on
innovations and contribute to the development
of the existing innovation system. To constitute a platform where distribution effects from
innovation methodology could reach a greater
number of actors within and without the academic sector. The aim was to create improved
opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators (ideators) to commercialize ideas, concepts and research results, thereby increasing regional growth. The OA5 core activity
was to test and create new open and challenge driven innovation models and methods.
This would not only increase the utilization of
university based knowledge and research,
but also increase the connections between
existing innovation supporting actors and industries today active in Scania–Blekinge.
OA5 has functioned as a test bed with new
tools for utilization. The project created new
and challenge driven collaborations between
companies, academia and the public sector. Entrepreneurs, scientists and customers
worked together on tangible projects to create
collaborative knowledge based solutions from
the needs of companies and public agents
within cross sectorial areas such as Food &
Health, IT and Internet based solutions within
e.g. energy, health, sustainable urban development and media, as well as green growth
with various applications. Together these areas created new and increased opportunities
to develop new innovation methods and models. The aim of the OA5 pilot projects was to
find smart and effective means to carry out
innovation processes, where knowledge is a
key part of the solution to a challenge.
The starting point of OA5 was the belief that
the complex challenges of today’s society imply a need for renewed collaborative efforts in
innovation. Small countries such as Sweden,
need comparatively more efficient innovation
methods to maintain their competitive edge.
The roles of entrepreneurs and innovators are
central and there is a need for iterative processes to put focus on needs and solutions in
response to these challenges.
OA5 focussed on two aspects of the innovation process:
a. Improved conditions for innovators and entrepreneurs to move from idea to innovation.
b. New working methods for collaborating on
ideas and innovation – interdisciplinary innovation arenas.
The project launched a total of five pilot projects with different areas of focus regarding
methods and working models starting in the
respective needs and areas of expertise of the
five universities. This had a positive influence
on the content of OA5 and in an interesting
way illuminated generic problems of current
interest to several universities regardless of
theme or methodology. The OA5 project was
carried out using a “bottom-up” organizational structure which has engaged and motivated the participants, and facilitated the work.
From an academic perspective, the OA5 project also treated the problem that scientists
are not always able or willing to become en-
trepreneurs. All of the pilot projects focussed
on the advantages of working in teams or
collaborative processes with various competences and resources for commercializing results that research has or could have created
in challenge driven projects. Each of the pilots
clearly show a different model how this can
be done in practice, the obstacles arising on
the way, and what it may take to make it work.
In this respect, OA5 has also strengthened
and developed relations with other innovation
actors in the region through dialgoue and participation in the pilots.
OA5 has laid the foundation for the next step
to systematize and render effective open innovation processes, where knowledge from
the universities will be utilized in the regional innovation system in Scania–Blekinge and
thus strengthen regional innovation power.
Anna Nitinidou
OA5 Project leader
LU Open Innovation Center
Kristina Santén
Extension Coordinator
External Relations Alnarp, SLU
Kristianstad University/Krinova Incubator & Science Park
Co-creative challenge
driven innovation
The pilot project efforts: To investigate how
an open innovation arena, i.e. a proactive
co-creator with effective methods and tools,
should initiate and carry on a continuous flow
of innovation projects based on challenges
and how it can be organized and structured.
From challenge to utilization for many.
Open innovation and co-creation, are terms
that are more and more often heard in media. They point towards a trend for more open
business models and collaborations between
companies. This is a new way of working that
comes from the understanding that more people must be engaged in the development of
ideas into innovations if we are to create sustainable growth. In this pilot we have created
the theoretical framework, understanding and
practical knowledge to make this possible.
Our work is challenge driven and uses new
effective means to handle the innovation process.
Faster to target. The new global landscape
of competition demands that small countries
(such as Sweden and our regional areas) use
more effective methods for innovation to main-
tain their competitive edge. Knowledge alone
is no longer enough. Knowledge must also be
transformed into innovations in a faster and
more efficient way, the logic of innovations has
changed. Today, innovation rarely happens by
a solitary inventor in a laboratory, instead it is
characterized by several actors collaborating
to solve the problems, challenges, in a joint
effort. The role of entrepreneurs and innovators is crucial. Access to knowledge and a
team becomes the foremost opportunity and
means of competition.
Collaboration between competences for
success. Solutions to the more and more
complex problems and needs of society are
rarely created within a sector, but rather in the
borderland between different sectors, competences and points of view. This entails further demands on how entrepreneurs collaborate in innovation. It also involves increased
financial costs and risks to initiate and run
innovation processes within new business
areas in the land bordering ones own core
activities, wether private entrepreneurs, scientists or companies.
Companies, scientists and society in joint
effort. When society, academia and industry work together, completely new conditions for innovation through collaboration are realized. This creates the resources necessary
for the utilization and commercialization in
a cross sectorial collaboration in the “blank
fields” that arise in the space between their
core activities. Various expertise, disciplines,
points of view and cultures are also included.
Unique customer centered solutions can be
achieved, at a shared cost and risk. In order to
succeed in creating these new opportunities,
we need to renew the working methods and
collaborations we use today to run innovation
activities. A need has been identified to more
actively create conditions for utilization of research, through creating conditions for scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs, companies and clients to collaborate from challenge
to innovation. Thus we can secure resource
effectiveness, customer value, utlization and
commercialization while also creating neutral
collaborations between the innovation supporting actors in the region.
Inclusion creates opportunities for more.
The starting point for innovation and the or-
ganization of innovative processes in the pilot
project was in agreement with neighbouring
regional strategies: The European 2020-strategy as well as the new Innovation strategy in
Sweden and the province of Scania. We created an open innovation arena in Northeastern Scania with a focus areas – Food, Environment & Health.
The model – an ecosystem. The pilot made
innovation simple and practical for anyone to
carry out. This was accomplished through
creating an understaning of and knowledge of
the system, arena, processes, methods and
Co-creation – a model of collaboration.
In the model of innovation collaboration (below) we clarify the rules for collaborating in a
three-step process. The model facilitates new
collaborations to start and grow in a context
where new partnerships are defined and evaluated before the commercial phase.
The innovation process – unique to every project. Each innovation project has its
own inner logic and needs – a unique, custom-made process where each step affects
the next, such as in action research. When
does our work turn into an innovation project? What do we do and HOW do we do it
before it becomes a project? CO-Learn (and
A co-creating role is vital in the early steps
of innovation. The pilot has gathered and
tested methods and tools that have been applied to the different steps in the innovation
projects. The pilot carried out in full or partly,
a great number of innovation projects with actors from the industry, academia and public
organizations in order to evaluate and test the
model, innovation process and the methods
and tools for individual steps in innovation.
Methods and tools for each unique step in
the innovation process can be divided into
seven main categories:
1. Strategic methods
2. Risk assessment
3. Collecting insights internally
4. Collecting insights externally
5. Tools for idea generation
6. User participation
7. Concept/product development
Results and effects of project activities.
The immediate results for the actors involved
cover a wide range from organizatorial insight about their own innovation possibilities, experience of using methods and tools, to organizational growth through the new products and
services. Results from the innovation arena include that the actors, Kristianstad University
and Krinova Incubator & Science Park, today
have offers directed to industry, public services and academy (students and scientists)
concerning innovative businesses, development projects and business design projects.
Effects of the pilot work can be seen by the
the industry and public organizations that actively seek out the development offers in the
innovation arena. At the same time, these actors have shown a general increase in the understanding of the importance of innovations
for their own development and that of society
through the process of seeking out and creating cross sectorial collaborations where the
innovation arena is involved as a co-designer
(co-creator). The innovation arena is in an expansive phase to develop into a regional force
for renewal and innovation.
Conditions for “the next step”. The innovation arena has already proceeded to the next
step and fulfil its co-creative function in several dimensions on a dailty basis. Research
projects, development projects for the industry, regional business development and strategic development for southern Sweden. The
next step also involves expanding the “capacity of delivery” of the innovation arena, not only
qualitatively but also in particular quantitatively. The development of a sustainable funding
model (business model) and communication
model together with Region Skåne, Skåne
NordOst (local municipalities), RUTH (The
Foundation for Regional development through
Kristianstad University), Kristianstad University and Blekinge Institute of Technology is in
progress with the aim to secure the delivery of
qualitative and quantitatve growth.
Torben Olsson
Head of External Relations
Business Development Manager
HKR Innovation
Charlotte Lorentz Hjorth
Krinova Incubator & Science Park
The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SLU/Alnarp Innovation
The Innovation Model Origo
The pilot project efforts: What makes actors
engaged and enable them to enter into an innovation process with the ability to carry out a
project? How to shape an effective innovation
model? The Innovation Model Origo focus on
the needs of persons of crucial importance
to include in innovation processes and that
they participate actively in the project – key
The Origo model is a unique, open and requirement based innovation model where
user driven innovation and research based
results meet on a common field. In the Origo
model we chose to focus on three key actors
in the innovation system: 1) the scientists, 2)
the academic intrapreneur, and 3) the private
companies/public sector.
The aim was to develop an effective innovation model able to effectively manage risks,
optimize time and optimize resources in processes in the existing innovation system. The
goal was to increase the number, speed and
survival of academic and research based innovations with user potential to reach the market and be utilized in society. The model was
developed to help scientists by utilizing their
discoveries while they, to a greater extent, will
be able to continue focusing on research. It
was also developed to meet the needs in industry for research results from universities
as a source of innovations and product development. The Origo model further aims to
increase the qualifications of PhD-students
who have recently completed their degree
and thereby increase their mobility on the labour market.
Three main actors, three unique requirement lists. When faced with the challenge
to chisel out the Origo model we started by
making a map of the requirements of the three
main actors. At Alnarp Innovation we felt that
today’s scientists increasingly choose not to
take reasearch results that may have a commercial potential and/or could solve challenges in society, further to market for a variety
of reasons. Some think that it would not promote their academic career, because of lack
of time, lack of knowledge about the “rules
of the game” in industry, a reluctance to take
personal risks in a business of their own etc.
Furthermore they themselves do not or other
people do not consider them to have entrepreneurial driving forces.
There are companies keenly interested in research results. The research results however,
are often considered too far from commercial-
ization. In particular small and medium sized
companies today lack the resources, knowledge or financial means to take the research
results to commercial products on their own.
Every year a number of PhD students complete their studies and choose not to continue within academia as scientists, but instead
seek new challenges within the industry.
Competition for employment is high and experience from the industry is a valuable qualification. In Sweden, there is a national need
for more young academics to actively work
within society and industry.
The Origo model is a complement to existing innovation- and financing models for
academic research results with a commerical
potential. Most actors involved in innovation
support, attached to universities and colleges,
today focus on helping scientists to start their
own company and incubators develop the
business of start up research companies. To
apply for a patent and start a company to license the patent rights is also comparatively common. This type of innovation support
comes with certain risks and difficulties. There
is the risk of draining the universities of successful scientists and that support cannot be
granted to scientists who do not wish to start
a company but do wish to utilize their results.
Alternatively, an external entrepreneur may be
hired to run the business and together with contributions from the innovation system, a
team is built around the idea and the entrepreneur. Such entrepreneurs may be hard to
find and match to ideas that engage them,
prospective innovations based on research
results often have a long and knowledge demanding route of development to market. The
market may be completely new or mature with
many competitors. The entrepreneur may not
have the know-how of the scientist, which may
lead to unrealizable development plans for the
product. Scientists in turn, may be percieved
as difficult to collaborate with as they may not
have the necessary knowledge of the market
or experience of business development.
The Origo model suggests an infrastructure
and a working model to treat and reduce
some of the obstacles in today’s utilization of
research results. The goal is to provide for the
common interests of the three main actors.
The infrastructure of the Origo model. The
model has a structured team focus where an
intermediary active in academia, in the model
called an intrapreneur e.g. a young scientist
who recently completed a doctoral degree,
acts as a bearer of competence in a customized process team. The model has three
unique elements designed to complement
and simplify the flow as well as increase the
survival rate of innovations from universities:
• The Intrapreneur secures the transfer of
research results from originator to business actor/public actor and carries out
research based product development.
• The independent teamleader has a specific role to support the development of the
team by actively supporting the roles and
functions of all of the team members. This
is accomplished by consciously working
with committment, communication, teamwork skills and by creating conditions for
the team members to achieve set goals in
joint effort.
• The project leader of the team is the business actor. The role of the business actor
in the team is to work out the milestones/
product development steps based on the
needs of the company and that are necessary in order to reach “proof of concept”.
The steps consitute a phase of risk reduction to the company and provides information for desicions on further investment in
resources to proceed/or not to proceed
with the innovation after “Origo” to “proof
of development” and market.
The task of the team is thus to manage risks
and product development of the research result to a finished product/service based on
the needs of the business actor. In addition
to the actors mentioned, the team consists of
one or more scientists i.e. the originator(s) of
the research result, a university linked business developer and when needed chosen external experts with special competences.
The Origo model shows the journey from
research result to finished product, with an
“O” for ”Origo” in the centre (figure below).
Needs-oriented product development begins
on day one and continues during the entire
process. To the left of Origo, the research
results are in a position close to academia
which enables a certain degree of continued
openess such as the possibilty of academic
This is a phase where legally binding contracts, licenses and claims are negotiated and
decided upon. In this phase the milestones of
the individual project until Origo are set down.
That is the point in time when the industry will
finance further product development. This is
when the project proceeds from the left to the
right of Origo, from research based to indus-
try based, from openess to structured corporate processes. The intrapreneur is at the
start of the project university affiliated with a
project position and can, if desired, transfer to
a business affiliated employment.
Depending on the nature of the project and
the individual ways and means of companies,
Origo can be moved to the left if a company enters in an early phase. Origo is moved
to the right if the project needs a longer time
of development in academia. After Origo, the
company takes over the financial responsibility in “proof of development”, product developoment and marketing.
Kristina Santén Extension Coordinator
External Relations Alnarp, SLU
Malmö University/MEDEA
Prototyping the Future
A way to connect abstractions
to the market
MEDEA is a research center at Malmö University with a focus on collaborative, digital
media. The work at MEDEA is design oriented and built on co-production with external
actors: companies, individual entrepreneurs,
the public sector or various creators and artits. MEDEA started in 2009 and has since
worked with over 150 different companies
and organized external events with over
2 500 visitors. The starting point of the projects is often challenge driven and applied research.
Digital media – a tool for societal change
and development. Digital media has a
more and more decisive role to play in social
change. The progress in mobile technologies and the memory capacity of our mobile
phones have changed mobile phones from a
tool of communication to a personal dispatch
central for digital communication as well as
planning, service, security, localization, visualization, consumption and entertainment. With
this development, the importance of the sector grows for other service- and production
sectors in society, while at the same time the
general importance of the sector for social
change increases.
The general development within the ICT-sector is very rapid and new business areas and
applications are continuously developed.
One example is the development within the
“Internet of Things”, which is coming strong
and defined as the new big field for the digital information society. In general, we move
towards a future where most objects around
us will be characterized as media. The vision
of the company Ericsson is to have 50 billion
connected units by the year 2020, thus leading to the development of a whole new marketing segment.
Various marketing analyses have predicted
that data usage will double yearly until 2015
and use 30 times more band width than voice
communication. This is from the perspective
that all possible manner of things that could
be provided with digital technology will be
connected to the Internet. In this context mobile phones will increasingly function as personal dispatch centrals to manage the com-
plex digital flow of information. A flow which
in turn will generate completely new digitally
based service solutions.
There is thus a great need for research and
development within this area. However, to
proceed we also need better tools and processes than those established in existing innovation models. The challenge for this pilot
project was how to utilize the competence of
scientists in digital media/information- and
communication technology (ICT) more efficiently and how to create processes and
structures within higher academia to strengthen innovation impact within this area:
• How can we stimulate knowledge transfer
from digital media/ICT-scientists to entrepreneurs?
• How to move from conceptual ideas to
• How to set up meeting places between
scientists and entrepreneurs?
• How is the question of IP-rights managed
during the transfer from the scientist to the
• How can we develop long-term innovation models where prototype development
contributes to bringing relevant research
ideas to the market?
Realization. Within the framework of the
project, we made an inventory of our digitally
based services and what services could be of
interest to promote from innovative concepts
to substantially deepened prototype level with
the specific goal of reaching “proof-of-concept” level. We began the process by scanning a number of relevant projects and finally
chose to pursue three of these projects. Two
of the projects were developed in collaboration with external entrepreneurs and one of
the projects was based on the work of one of
our PhD students.
During the time period of the project, we have
worked in collaboration with scientists and external experts to raise the different concepts
to yet a higher level, performed advanced
programming and relevant user tests to thereby be able to adjust and iterate the original
design of the prototype. During this time, we
have also developed the analysis of the business potential of the respective projects.
Conclusions. Within the digital sector, there
is a limitation in how much time that can be
devoted to the project by the participating
companies/entrepreneurs. The actors often consist of small companies with one or
two employees and theses are under a lot of
pressure to keep the business going. Therefore there is a limitation in the amount of time
they can spend on a prototype development
process. While there is a need to have the
prototype reach a “proof-of-concept” level,
one is also racing against time since there is
a natural limitation in the amount of time that
can be spent on the process.
Thorough concept- and prototype development within ICT/digital media require tools
from many different areas: design, project
management, interaction design, graphic visualization, technical prototype competence
(app- and mobile development), programming, game design, simulations, businessand marketing skills, methodology for user
tests, teaching skills and learning theory.
Scientists are competent within several of
these areas, however as the structure for incentives within academia does not reward pure prototype development but has a focus
on the publication of research papers, many
scientists have neither the time nor the required competence for hands-on digital prototype development. Their competence must
therefore be complemented by a team of
people who can manage the more practically
oriented tasks such as project management,
business development, programming and visualization. As the scientists and entrepreneurs often come from different cultural realities, the team has an important role as an
interpreter between the world of academia
and that of industry. We found that there is
a need to bridge the cutural, practical and
linguistic barriers between entrepreneurs, industrial experts and scientists.
Many scientists have no interest in participating in short iterative processes with external
parties. There is a concern among scientists
for being handed the role of the consultant
rather than that of the scientist. It is therefore
important that the scientists who participate
in projects have not been directed to do so,
but participate out of their own interest and
commitment. This commitment usually arises
when the theme of a development project is of
scientific relevance to the individual scientist.
To circumvent the IP-problems that arise
through the Swedish teacher exception laws,
we also chose to integrate the scientists in
short day based iterations where their role
was guiding and mentoring rather than having
the scientists become a part of the more longterm work of the development team, which
had granted them the legal right to shared IP.
This was shown to be a method which was
appreciated by both the scientists and the
entrepreneurs, according to our survey. The
entrepreneurs appreciated that they could
make use of what they themselves considered
relevant. The scientists found that their part
in the process did not require too much time
and commitment but the process was instead
designed to be inspiring discussions that had
an invigourating effect on their research. The
processes should thus be carried out with a
clear “win-win” perspective to the participating parties.
In order to contribute to more effective innovation processes in academia, the incentive
for scientists to participate in this type of innovation and collaboration processes should be
strengthened. Scientists should be rewarded
not only for scientific publications but also for
collaborative and innovation commitment and
The forms of funding and exisiting innovation
methodology are limited for this type of prototype based and mentoring knowledge transfer. There is a need for funding to develop rapid ICT-based ptototyping and verification at
universities. It is also important that all actors
in the innovation structures understand that
innovation processes within service based
ICT and digital media need a different kind of
business development than for example innovation processes in life science.
Within this sector, long development and verification processes are not useful because
time to market is essential. Rapid processes
demand a different innovation methodology
built on concepts such as “agile prototype
development” and “fast failure”! This further
makes it clear that the need to develop methodology and competence for this type of
market affiliated and challenge driven innovation. It also shows the need in academia for
a stronger infrastructure in the form of a widened competence base, prototype labs and
test beds. Resources of this kind hardly exist
in Sweden – Horizon 2020!
Karin Johansson-Mex
Managing Director of MEDEA Collaborative
Media Initiative, Malmö University
Blekinge Institute of Technology/BTH Innovation
Experimenting towards
increased utilization
The pilot project efforts: In the BTH pilot we
have worked with a wide approach to investigate and to test new ways that research can
be utilized and contribute to the development
of society to a greater degree. A starting point
in this work has been the view that utilization
cannot be understood purely as a question
of using research results as a basis for new
businesses. It is of equal importance to highlight the competence and experience of the
scientists and find new ways to use this in
different development processes.
According to the Swedish Higher Education
Act, higher education institutions should ensure that benefit is derived from their research
findings. This general statement inherently
contains a number of problems primarily because according to Swedish law, it is not the
higher education institution but the individual
scientist who owns the results of the research
within academia. It is the scientist who decides if and how to utilize the results, which
commonly means the scientific publication of
the results. The wording in the Higher Education Act signals a view on utilization that assumes an insider–outsider perspective which
does not sit well with the notions of open innovation, societal challenges and broadened
utilization that characterize the current debate.
An inventory of problems (see figure on the next page), served as a starting point for the
efforts in the BTH pilot. The main approach
was inductive, which in this context meant
working with a set of cases, each different
from the other, to create a basis for knowledge
and experience that later could be generalized into new methods for utilization. In these
cases we have tried to test new approaches
while taking advantage of existing tools and
relations to other innovation supporting actors
(mostly in the region of Blekinge).
Students as a resource for commercialization. Some of the cases we worked on started from the all too common situation where
a scientist has chosen to end a process of
commercialization that has already been set
in motion. The scientist(s) in question have
here, contrary to the general situation, made
a first effort to “translate” their research to an
idea that could be commercialized. However,
despite this the scientists have chosen to dis-
continue the work. The reasons may vary, and
are usually connected to the private working
situation of the scientist(s) as well as a lack of
time and other resources needed to continue
the work. It is rarely because the scientist(s)
have realized that the idea lacks commercial
potential. In the cases we worked on, there
was thus already a developed concept and in
some cases a prototype, which was a necessary condition to bring in new actors to continue the work.
In the majority of cases we engaged higher
education level students to pursue the work
of commercialization. The students functioned as an extra resource for developing the
concepts and to investigate the conditions
for their commercialization, while also creating contacts with possible customers and
users. The results from the student work was
reported back to the originators, as they did
not want to completely give up control of their
ideas to the students to develop in their own
Although it is difficult to make any precise
conclusions based on the few cases of this
type that we worked on, it is clear that the
conditions for the collaboration between the
scientist(s) and student(s) and the division of
IP-rights must be set down clearly in the early stages of the process. This is easier said
than done since the respective parties tend
to overestimate the importance of their own
work in relation to the final results. However,
it would be fair if the scientists gave the students the legal rights to continue the development work in their own way in exchange for
a certain share of royalites in possible future
sales profits, particularly as the concept otherwise would not be exploited.
Although none of the cases have yet led to a
developed concept reaching the market, we
have found that the students gained valuable
experience from the work of commercialization, which in general raised their interest in
some day starting up a business of their own.
In one case this has already happened and is
considered a bonus.
A broker-role for commercialization. In one
of the cases of this type, instead of working
with students, we ourselves chose to take on
the role of broker and by our own efforts try
to find a business actor willing to take over
the concept developed by the scientists. The
complicating factor in this case was that the
scientists themselves wanted to have the opportunity to participate as scientists in the
continued process of commercialization. The
business actors on the other hand wanted to
have the freedom to make their own desicions
and were therfore concerned about the continued participation of the scientists.
However, these questions were resolved and
the scientists chose to proceed with one of
the companies that we had managed to interest in the concept. Product development
and interaction design has started and two of
the originators are in the process of starting a
company that will function as a counterpart to
the business actor. The scientists have a role
in the continued development work in product
development and have agreed to participate
in the sales work towards county councils, the
most important potential group of clients.
Lessons from this case are mixed, although of
course it is a plus that the ideas of the scientists now appear to reach the market. However, the journey has been long and costly
and it is hardly justifiable to do this kind of
work in all cases where there is a research
based idea with market potential and a limited interest from scientists to take the risks
involved in commercialization. However, the
case showed that it is possible to interest
companies in taking over tested and verified
research based ideas for continued commercialization, provided that the demonstrated
market potential is high enough to motivate
the often considerable investments needed
for product development and marketing.
Before enticing a business actor to take over,
considerable efforts are needed to identify
and demonstrate the possible commercial
potential. The question of who would be willing to take on the risks and efforts is in turn
linked to how the legal rights to the idea and
development work is divided between different parties.
Once again we found that the scientists tended to overestimate the value of their idea,
while the business actor on the other hand
tended to overvalue the costs and risks at the
expense of the original idea. In this situation
a neutral intermediary could possibly facilitate
an agreement. This is a role that higher education institutions could adopt.
Research competences as a basis for utilization. In the second group of cases in our
pilot, the aim of our efforts was to create different kinds of links between scientists and to
create a ground for mutual learning. This was
about trying to use the scientists’ research
competences to fertilize and develop ideas
from external actors (companies and private
entrepreneurs) while at the the same time
having the scientists exposed to the problems
and conditions business actors struggle with
which in turn could fertilize their research.
In some of the cases we used students to
fuction as an intermediary between business
based ideas and research competences. The
companies defined the problems linked to
their product development, which were then
managed by students with the support from
scientists/teachers from BTH. In this way we
could provide companies with advice and
contacts to the scientists. The cases show
that the way of using students as a bridge between the ideas from a company and relevant
competences can be a way to fertilize and develop ideas originating outside of academia.
In another case we worked on a more direct approach to connect an external idea
of a new product with the competences and
experience of a group of chosen scientists.
Here we used a method called “Value Creation Forum”, in short it involves the innovators
who pitch their solution to the problem to the
chosen scientists who, based on their experience, give their opinions and suggestions on
how the idea could be developed. This method was shown to be successful and has led
to the continued collaboration between the
company and some of the scientists, who can
confirm that these kinds of meetings could be
of value also to their own research. We therefore plan to continue to offer external actors
this kind of activity.
the efforts of the students are undervalued
and that the scientists are unwillig to offer the
students a share in the values created.
Lessons learned. From the efforts of the
BTH pilot project it is clear that the utilization
of research can be broadened if, apart from
stressing the importance of research results
as a starting point for utilization, we also work
with the competences and experience of the
scientists. By bringing together scientists and
customers, research based ideas can be verified in terms of commercial relevance. Meetings such as these can furthermore contribute to strengthening the relevance of research
Furthermore it is obvious that research results are rarely “ready” for commercialization
and considerable efforts are often needed
to translate the research results into a starting point for commercialization. In this work,
knowledge and experience from users, customers and business actors is needed.
The meeting between scientists and private
entrepreneurs can contribute to suggestions
that could help the entrepreneurs to develop
and refine their ideas. We also investigated
if and how we could use students as a kind
of intermediary in close connection with the
utilization of research. Experience shows that
students can function as a resource to connect business actors with academic research.
However, we found that having students participate in the development work of commercializing the ideas of individual scientists was
less positive. There is an apparent risk that
The cases in the BTH pilot constitute a basis
for a number of general findings that are important to manage and bridge. We have repeatedly come across the fact that academic
research and commercialization follow their own inherent logic and are set in different
kinds of cultures and languages. It is therefore essential in a closer collaboration that
the actors on each side understand and are
“educated” in managing these differences, a
clear task for the innovation supporting units
of higher education institutions.
We also found that there is not one innovation process but several. Thus we have to
work with different constellations of actors,
resources and tools in each case. Achieving
results is more about creating dynamic innovation collaborations than building fixed structures. Finally, the importance of so-called “innovation champions” cannot be understated.
It is clear that someone with the energy and
commitment to develop and further an idea to
the market is needed! Persons such as these
must be given clear conditions and have a direct share in what is created.
Anders Nilsson
Division Head, BTH Innovation
Blekinge Institute of Technology
Lund University/LU Innovation System
The bridge between Academia
and Industry
The efforts of the pilot: To investigate how a
model for a facilitator – a broker – who mediates the infrastructure service to scientist, the
inustry and public actors, may look like.
We are creating an area of strength within
facilities for laboratories in Scania through
the development of MAX IV and ESS. The
Swedish Research Council has established
The Council for Resarch infrastructures (RFI)
to increase the focus on international collaboration and openess in infrastructure and the
participation from several related actors is required to have functional models.
Industry in Sweden is changing, thus the conditions for supporting the utilization of knowledge, business development and growth are
also changing. Different kinds of support sustems must to be part of the process of change
forward in the value chain with an increase of
services and focus on the customer and the
needs of the customer. With customers focusing on their core activities, the suppliers
gain by refined solutions that may contribute
to increased marketing potential and higher
profit margins.
Research through innovations contribute to
growth and economic changes in society. In
this pilot we raise one aspect by having an
independent service organization, an intermediary, working with profitability and improved
capacity for utilization in infrastructure. Service innovation has an enabling function and
can contribute towards the advancement of
research and industry.
Model. In the pilot we worked on developing
a facility within the MAX-lab and to create a
model for differentiated offers adapted to the
customer (see figure on the next page).
To an intermediary facilitating the utilization of
a research infrastructure, customers i.e. the
target groups, may be different. This should
be reflected in the product range and pricing
strategies. Value based pricing begins with
the customer because values are created in
the situation of the customer.
With customers from industry or academia,
value creation is very different and productand service development takes place from
a need to create simplicity for the customer.
The challenge is to achieve a level of effective
utilization of resources since specialist expertise is needed to use the equipment.
ing to pay for a project that is time-consuming
and may come to no results.
By offering a service, an intermediary, to facilitate the use of complex research infrastructure to scientists and companies, the capacity
usage can be optimized. The model suggested involves specific offers to scientists in academia and the medical industry for increased
use of the facilities.
Many projects may principally fail because a
specific protein may be too difficult to crystallize. The industry gives a priority to a project with a higher cost and a higher likelihood
of being carried out and delivered on time.
The offers are mutually non-excluding and
non-overlapping, rather the offers to academia and industry are two parallell tracks.
The results have clearly shown how the offer
should be designed to attract different target
groups. Academia wishes for an increased
transparency and fixed prices. There was
thus a focus on methods to be able to offer
pricing lists – fixed prices clearly presented
in relation to each service. The indistry on the
other hand gives priority to a low risk of failure
and high speed as well as cost-effectiveness.
Industrial actors want to avoid the risk of hav-
Central competences in an intermediary function in a research infrastructure can contribute towards making the infrastructure more
cost-effective from the perspective of capacity and moreover expand existing capacity by
adding steps to the value chain. This is a way
of creating additional attractive services and
offers for users rather than the offers from
a specific, infrastructure focused initial perspective. In order to expand the range of ser-
vices the pilot project worked on identifying
areas for collaboration to connect to services
and provide a wider range of offers.
Lessons learned and the effect of activities
performed. The effect of the activities carried
out within the pilot project has already had an
impact. The number of academic users has
increased dramatically, not only from Lund
University but also from other universities in
Sweden and Denmark. Academic projects
have been carried out also for universities in
Europe and Asia. The number of inquries from
the industry has increased markedly. These
come from bigger companies and concern
more extensive projects than before. Furthermore, a greater part of the inquiries now come
from companies in America and Asia.
Conditions for “the next step”. In order to
establish new services and platforms there
is a need for continued discussions with potential partners. The pilot made it possible to
evaluate and develop strategic concepts of
how an intermediary function can add several steps to the value chain and how research
infrastructure can contribute to increased
Ulrika Cattermole
Project Leader
LU Innovation System
There is not one innovation process
but many!
The set of actors and the choice of tools and
models must be shaped according to the interests and needs of each individual innovation project. The notion of a linear development process should be replaced by that of a
recurring iterative process.
Research and commercialization each follow
different kinds of logic and are set in different
cultures and languages. To sucessfully bridge
these differences is of crucial importance to
the possible success of a project with several
actors and cultures.
A recurring dialogue between innovators/
custormers (societal challenges), users/customers and business actors is essential. Research results from academia are in a commercial perspective premature and the step
from research results to innovation is often
long, costly and risky before they can be commercialized or utilized by end users. Research
results are by themselves comparatively narrow and produced with a scientific hypothesis as a basis for the research. Products and
services with a commercial hypothesis should
be developed in an interplay between com-
petences and knowledge from scientists/
users/customers. This kind of work provides
the opportunity for new working methods and
an open, continuous culture of dialogue to
forward the development of innovation. Successful innovation development requires dialogue and collaboration with open innovation
processes, for example the Krinova innovation
ecosystem from Co-learning to Co-effectuation. The OA5 project identified that early
demonstrators and prototypes could facilitate
the dialogue, which increases the demand for
test beds and laboratory environments in the
innovation system.
The work of developing an idea or research
result into a product or service demands considerable commitment in the form of time,
profit and a strong will from the persons involved. Today, many scientists feel that the
structure for incentives in academia to support scientists by for example academic merit
or staff support when working on innovation
projects is inadequate, particularly in the early
stages of an innovation project.
In the interface between research and industry, in some situations it is important that the
research result is further developed within
academia before the work is passed on and
continued by a business or public actor. This
is especially the case if the originator and scientist has no interest in developing the results
further. This transition could be facilitated by
an intermediary, as for example the role of the
intrapreneur in the Origo model or students
with a commitment to taking a greater part
in the utilization of academic knowledge. A
powerful “innovation champion”, i.e. a person
passionate about the innovation project and
with a very strong commitment, may increase
the speed and rate of survival of a prospective
innovation in innovation projects.
The pilot projects in OA5 have worked on
developing different kinds of models to build
dynamic innovation collaborations/teams between different actors rather than fixed strucutres. It is important that collaborations leave
traces and learning in the system in order to
be followed and used when setting up a new
innovation collaboration.
In collaborative arenas it is essential to respect
the uniqueness of each innovation project, the
composition of the team, the various stages in
the project over time and the shifting needs in
these stages. Different projects demand different kinds of tools, resources and interaction. An open and clear approach on an open
innovation platform concerning openness,
transparency and generosity among the innovation supporting actors is important in creating an open and common innovation culture.
The roads are many – there is not one innovation model or one system suited to all higher
education institutions and all innovation projects. The OA5 project has led to the development of several models and methods that
are available for use in innovation processes.
The starting points in open innovation should
be an overall perspective, the needs and the
challenges of each project, resulting in dynamic competence requirements.
We need more meeting places where actors
can explore the possibilities of collaborations
with interest and openness and with a view
towards the overall perspective and needs.
The good discussion is a condition for open
innovation, where cultural competence, communication skills and the networks of intermediaries may have an important role. Students
constitute a hidden innovation power that
could be made more visible and utilized.
Lastly, to create long-term and effective structures for innovation work, where the structures
are also dynamic, we need a flexible and longterm financing model.
Anna Nitinidou
Project Leader OA5
LU Open Innovation Center
Kristina Santén
Extension Coordinator
External Relations Alnarp, SLU
Anna Nitinidou
OA5 Project leader
LU Open Innovation Center
P.O. Box 117
SE-221 00 LUND
Visit: Scheelevägen 15A, Alfa 2
Tel: +46 (0)72 717 22 06
E-mail: [email protected]
Torben Olsson
Head of External Relations
Business Development Manager
HKR Innovation
Kristianstad University
Tel: +46 (0)44 20 80 07
Mob: +46 (0)70 289 25 75
E-mail [email protected]
Charlotte Lorentz Hjorth
Krinova Incubator & Science Park
Stridsvagnsvägen 14
Tel: +46 (0)70 829 14 34
Skype: charlotteatkrinova
E-mail: [email protected]
Kristina Santén
Extension Coordinator
External Relations Alnarp
Swedish University of Agricultural
Sciences SLU
P.O. Box 53
SE-230 53 ALNARP
Visit: Slottsvägen 5
Tel: +46 (0)73 020 90 88
E-mail: [email protected]
Karin Johansson-Mex
Managing Director of MEDEA*
Collaborative Media Initiative
Malmö University
Ö Varvsg. 11A
SE-205 06 MALMÖ
Tel:+46 (0)72 202 51 90
Skype: karinjmex
E-mail: [email protected]
*From Sept. 2014 for issues related to MEDEA
please contact [email protected]
Anders Nilsson
Division Head
BTH Innovation (BINO)
Blekinge Insitute of Technology
Visit: Campus Gräsvik 4
Tel:+46 (0)45 538 52 90
Mob: +46 (0)70 839 06 87
E-mail: [email protected]
Ulrika Cattermole
Project leader
Projects and finance
LU Innovation System
P.O. Box 117
SE-221 00 LUND
Visit: Sölvegatan 16
Tel: +46 (0)46 222 12 71
Mob: +46 (0)70 971 89 52
E-mail: [email protected]
LU Open Innovation Center
P.O. Box 117
SE-221 00 Lund
Copyright © The authors 2014
Layout & English translation: Shu-Chin Hysing