Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

Part-up Phase1 Report Summary

Project ID: 761756

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Part-up Phase1 (Part-up.com - the open competence platform with high social impact)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2017-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The ambition of Part-up is to give everyone the opportunity to choose to work on projects they love with people they care about. Part-up therewith addresses the issues of low worker engagement, stress related illness, and gender equality in the context of work. Moreover, it relates to the rise of the so-called gig-economy and aims to alleviate the exploitation by monopolistic platforms.

In the past 2,5 years, the company has developed a service offering for organizations in diverse market segments, such as Government, Healthcare, and SME. The aim of this project was to pilot the Part-up proposition and platform in the context of international B2C environments.

The two target groups for investigating the international opportunities for Part-up in the B2C market are: (1) Student communities in Finland and (2) Co-working spaces in Germany. These countries were chosen first and foremost because they are the leading European countries (beside the Netherlands) in developing freelancer and student centered innovation ecosystems. Secondly, both countries show great opportunities because of the rising population of freelancers.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In both countries two pilots were started to perform action research on the viability of these opportunities. In these pilots the Part-up team collaborated with local experts. The objective of the pilot(s) was to gain valuable feedback for the further development of Part-up as a competence platform. The main focus was to test how an environment where there is no organizational structure will adapt the principles of using a competence platform as a value added tool.

Next to these two pilots, students from the Delft University of Technology worked on a competitor analysis, with a main focus on revenue models. In this way a rich understanding of the competitors was developed and lessons were drawn.

In a subsequent strategy workshop, the Part-up team, the local expert from Finland and Mirko Ross (as SME instrument business coach) discussed the information from the competitor analysis and the information gathered during the pilots. The workshop was initiated to identify the challenges that Part-up is facing with regard to the ambition to scale Part-up internationally. During the workshop the attendees concluded that the lack of focus in the current business model limits the scalability even in The Netherlands.

Lastly, a Digital Business Administration student from the University of Amsterdam conducted research on the barriers of user adoption of the platform of Part-up in healthcare organisations based on 11 interviews spread over three cases.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

State of the art
We are living in the Postnormal Era, where platforms like Uber, eBay, AirBnB are disrupting traditional business models and the nature of work is also rapidly changing as an ever increasing portion of workforce becomes freelancers. The rise of freelancer movement together with new ways of organizing work have dramatically changed the economic landscape. In this new environment the value creation happens in global talent networks, and the potential for disruptive innovations is embedded in the dispersed, decentralized organizations and teams. New challenges resulting from this development require effective tools to enable business environment and the entire society to adapt. As a result, platform thinking is gaining momentum in the innovation management field. Various platforms and especially so called competence platforms are anticipated to dramatically boost the global economy through improved productivity and higher degree of workforce utilization. According to a recent McKinsey’s foresight, online talent platforms (a subcategory of competence platforms) can boost the global GDP by USD 2,7 trillion by 2025.

Part-up is a "social impact first" startup. In this project, the socio-economic value of our unique approach to building teams using the part-up.com competence platform was validated in the context of student and freelancer communities. In the pilots we have witnessed that open access (gender and race neutral) to the job and outsourced expertise market, either on task or project basis, was appreciated by all participants. We discovered ways to enable opportunities and enables better use of personal resources. Moreover, in the context of the healthcare market, we found evidence for higher customer engagement. Part-up enables the full use of community potential and helps to generate gravity.

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