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Fostering open-innovation and co-creation through social manufacturing

Fostering open-innovation and co-creation through social manufacturing: European Union funded iPRODUCE project kicks off in Valencia, Spain. On 14-15 January 2020, a 20-partner consortium representing nine EU countries kicked-off in Valencia (Spain) iPRODUCE, a 36-month project for the development of a novel social manufacturing platform to enable multi-stakeholder interaction and collaboration to support user-driven open-innovation and co-creation.

Industrial Technologies

iPRODUCE - “A Social Manufacturing Framework for Streamlined Multi-stakeholder Open Innovation Missions in Consumer Goods Sectors” - aims to embrace known and well proven fab lab concepts and makers approaches and install these in multi-stakeholder ecosystems that are transformed into collaborative manufacturing ecosystems thanks to Collaborative Manufacturing Demonstration Facilities (cMDF). The objectives of iPRODUCE are threefold: (1) to bring manufacturers, makers and consumer communities (MMCs) closer at the local level; (2) to engage these communities into joint co-creation challenges for the manufacturing of new consumer products and the introduction of novel engineering and production (eco)systems; and (3) to fuse practices, methods and tools that both makers and manufacturing companies (specifically SMEs) are employing. iPRODUCE’s social manufacturing framework will support knowledge and resource sharing across cMDFs, through which an association of cMDFs will be established. The cMDFs will be equipped with the iPRODUCE platform along with novel co-creation methodologies, training toolkits and sharing-economy business models to adapt the organisational systems, shape the social manufacturing processes and scale collaborative production activities. iPRODUCE will establish cMDFs in Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Spain, which are expected to become the main stimulating drivers to launch, promote and realise the envisaged collaborative engineering and co-creation activities. These local ecosystems cover different levels of maturity with collaborative production, diverse objectives and application areas spanning from home furnishing, automotive/ mobility, consumer photography, medical equipment and others. The proposed framework aims to engage manufacturing enterprises (e.g. SMEs and/or mid-caps); makers communities (e.g. DIY, fab lab, makers spaces and start-up communities); and consumers. iPRODUCE will look to mobilise these three groups at the local level through specific, time-restricted co-creation missions driven by consumer needs. iPRODUCE’s social manufacturing framework claims that manufacturing companies should not only learn from makers’ approaches but also collaborate with them in open innovation projects (missions). Thus, makers can join the product innovation teams of a company to bring in new ideas and perspectives to meet consumer needs that an industrial company has identified. On the other hand, manufacturers may adopt existing ideas/ product designs/ prototypes that makers communities have already delivered to identify promising cases for commercialisation and (mass) production. The iPRODUCE framework goes beyond the local level by suggesting a federated organisational structure for knowledge and resource sharing at European-wide level. The federation layer is also expected to catalyse massive personalisation of consumer products by taking advantage of the distributed micro-manufacturing services available through cMDFs. Over the course of the project, iPRODUCE aims to deliver open innovation methods and practices, novel business models for social manufacturing, an Open Innovation Space (OpIS) platform, training toolkits, and others, which can ultimately be used to support the establishment of new cMDFs. The Horizon 2020 project iPRODUCE - “A Social Manufacturing Framework for Streamlined Multi-stakeholder Open Innovation Missions in Consumer Goods Sectors” - started on 1 January 2020 and will end 31 December 2022. It is coordinated by AIDIMME (Spain), with the scientific and technical coordination being managed by CERTH (Greece). It includes 18 additional European partners from industry, research and other sectors.

Keywords

open innovation, new industrial value chains, product innovation, innovation systems, innovation strategies, social manufacturing, social engagement