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Networking of materials laboratories and innovation actors in various industrial sectors for product or process innovation

Final Report Summary - INNOMATNET (Networking of materials laboratories and innovation actors in various industrial sectors for product or process innovation)

Executive Summary:
InnoMatNet was a 30 month Coordination and Support Action under FP7 (April 2012-September 2014). Its consortium joined together 11 partners from diverse domains, including academia, industry, technology transfer units and networks, working both in the areas of materials and creative industries. Led by SPI - Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (Portugal), the consortium included EBN - European Business and Innovation Centre Network (Belgium), CIKTN - Chemistry Innovation Limited (UK), IOM3 - The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (UK), BIBA - Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik GmbH (Germany), EMRS - European Materials Research Society (France), EURAF - European Architecture Foundation (Belgium), Fundacion Privada Cetemmsa (Spain), ENoLL - European Network of Living Labs (Belgium), Public Research Organisations Transfer Offices Network - Europe (Belgium) (until March 2014) and Transplant (Norway).
The need for such a project came from the recognition that materials are key to technological advances in many fields, and particularly important for the success of the creative industries, one of the most promising fields of economic activity in highly developed economies. The materials industry has well established technological competences (technology push) whereas the creative industry is stronger in interpreting the context of using materials and the users’ needs (market pull). A gap between the creative design of products that meet market needs, and the research and development (by academia and industry) of new materials to be used in these products was identified.
Bearing this in mind, InnoMatNet’s consortium designed a project whose application aimed at contributing to reducing this gap, by uniting different types of stakeholders (from academia to industry, from materials to design, from consumers to investors) and disseminating existing tools and initiatives. In order to achieve this objective, InnoMatNet has developed and implemented a set of activities:
• Key stakeholders in the areas of materials and design in Europe were identified and, via questionnaire, the gap between stakeholders needs and the existing offer of initiatives and tools that support their product or process innovation was evaluated;
• Best practice case-studies of collaboration between materials researchers and industrial entrepreneurs were identified and studied;
• A database of stakeholders was developed, to facilitate networking;
• As a tool for dissemination of all project activities and a networking platform in the fields of materials and creative industries, a website was created at
• A series of 10 one-day networking / training events was designed and organised in different European countries, to bring together the right actors for new alliances and brokering collaboration between materials researchers and industrial entrepreneurs;
• Two 2-days summer schools were designed and organized, to educate interested students and train young researchers and engineers active in the field.
In addition to the foreseen activities, the consortium developed a green paper that reflects the stakeholders ideas on actions that could be undertaken to promote collaboration between materials researchers and the creative industries.

Project Context and Objectives:
The lack of collaboration between materials researchers and the creative industries
Several studies and publications point to the fact that as much as 70 percent of all technical innovations rely directly or indirectly on the properties of the materials they use. Materials are increasingly the key of success of a new product. New materials can help increase the functionality of a product, minimise its cost and its environmental impact, among other features, while at the same time improving competitiveness, growth and jobs in Europe.
On the other hand, the creative industries are among the most dynamic and growing sectors in many EU countries, being responsible in 2011 for as much as 3.3% of the GDP in the EU and employing 6.7 million people (3 % of total employment). [COM (2012) 537 final. Promoting cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU.]. These numbers have been increasing since 2008. Also, studies reveal that firms spending twice the average amount on creative inputs are 25% more likely to introduce product innovations [Creating Innovation. Do the creative industries support innovation in the wider economy?]
As the European Commission recognizes “With scarce natural and energy resources and ambitious social and environmental goals, EU companies cannot compete on low price and low quality products. They must turn to innovation, productivity, resource-efficiency and high value-added to compete in global markets. Europe’s comparative advantage in the world economy will continue to lie in high value-added goods and services, the effective management of value chains and access to markets throughout the world. Thus, innovation and technological advancement will remain the main source of competitiveness for EU industry. For this reason, further efforts are needed to achieve the Europe 2020 target of spending 3% of GDP on research and development (R&D).” [COM(2014) 14 final. For a European Industrial Renaissance.]
Despite the relevance of materials for technological advances in many fields, and particularly its importance to the success of the creative industries, there is a gap between the creative design of products that meet the needs of the market, and the research and development of new materials to be used in these products.
The EU also recognises that there is a large gap between the generation of basic knowledge and the subsequent commercialisation of this knowledge into marketable products (usually referred to as valley of death). This gap also needs to be bridged in order to boost European economic progress through the creation of jobs, the reinforcement of the European competitiveness internationally and its sustainable growth.

Recognition of the importance of this collaboration
The European Commission has promoted discussion on ways of increasing collaboration between materials researchers and the “creative industries” in recent years. In this context, the EC publication “New Materials for the Creative Industry” [] (2010) identified the interaction between materials research and the “creative industries” as a good opportunity to push forward European innovation and competitiveness. It pointed out that the materials industry has well established technological competences (technology push), whereas the creative industry is stronger in interpreting the context of using materials and the users’ needs (market pull). Therefore, a collaboration between them may help in overcoming the identified gap between research and the market. In that sense, the experts recommended the promotion of networks, connection and communication among material scientists, manufacturers and designers, improving the dissemination of results and technologies already achieved from academics to large companies, and strong support for technology transfer actions and creative SMEs.
One of the responses to this, was a call for “Networking of materials laboratories and innovation actors in various industrial sectors for product or process innovation” under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme, from which the project “InnoMatNet” was born, whose activities have led to the current document. Also, the European Design Innovation Initiative, was launched in 2011, aimed at exploring the potential of design-driven innovation and to reinforce the links between design, innovation and competitiveness. Six projects with the aim of speeding up the take-up of design as a user-centred innovation tool in national, regional and EU innovation policies were funded under the Competiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP). Further, the European Design Leadership Board (EDLB) was established in early 2011 to provide recommendations on how to enhance the role of design in innovation policy in Europe at the national, regional or local level. The EDLB identified twenty-one policy recommendations, in six strategic areas for design action, among others, these include:
• Differentiating European design on the global stage;
• Positioning design within the European innovation system;
• Design for innovative and competitive enterprises;
• Positioning design research for the 21st century.

Since then, “Materials research and innovation in the creative industries” [] (2012), was published. This document resulted from a workshop designed to gather ideas on how to progress on the successful design of materials with improved performance and to map the obstacles that hamper the progress of creative industries. It noted that “creative industries” have revealed themselves to be more resilient than other more traditional sectors to the economic crisis. Besides this, they believed that, the “creative industries” can be used by the materials industry to address the challenge of creating high value added products, with low cost and low environmental impact. The conclusion of this group of experts was that the importance of the interface and exchange of knowledge and expertise between the materials industry and the creative industry had been underestimated, meaning that an effective and profitable collaboration is becoming more and more crucial for economic success.
Further, following the recommendations of the EDLB, in September 2013, the European Commission released a working document, entitled “Implementing an Action Plan for Design-Driven Innovation”[] in which it recognised the importance and contribution of design to competitiveness as a key discipline and activity to bring ideas to the market. Beyond its contribution in aesthetical terms, design is seen as complementary to R&D activities in contributing to improve European competitiveness in this action plan. For example, the plan recognises that design can provide a series of methodologies, tools and techniques which can be used at different stages of the innovation process to boost the value of new products and services. In that sense, the plan includes activities to accelerate the take-up of design in innovation policy at European, national and regional levels and to create the capacity and competencies needed to implement these policies. This action plan will be delivered through the European Design Innovation Platform (EDIP) over a period of three years starting in January 2014 [].

InnoMatNet project
The European Commission launched a call for a project to promote networking of materials laboratories and innovation actors. The InnoMatNet project was created to respond to this challenge.
The project main goal is to facilitate exchanges between different types of stakeholders – from research institutions to industry, from materials to design, from consumers to investors, from policy makers to funding agencies – and to disseminate existing tools and initiatives, with a view to help them bring new products and processes to market.

The project’s main objective will be achieved by the following specific objectives:
- To conduct a needs assessment and map support needed against support available to obtain a good understanding of what exactly is lacking in the innovation process for different actors and identify best practices in material research and industry collaboration.
- To design and implement the support tools and flexible networking and training actions that will promote open innovation approaches and the use of new innovative support tools and bring together materials labs with industrial entrepreneurs (particularly the creative industries) as a means to bring about the new alliances required for improving the coordination of high quality research and that will allow Europe to better cope with rapidly changing global market via the design of an interactive and informative website and set of networking/ training actions.
- To improve the support tools and actions by incorporating feedback from networking/training events and summer schools through establishing a process for stakeholder feedback.
- To disseminate the support offered European wide amongst relevant actors through the partners strong European wide network covering materials labs, relevant industries and other important innovation actors (the consortium contains several European wide networks and associations - such as EURAF, E-MRS, ProTon Europe, EBN and ENoLL)

Project Results:
In order to achieve its objectives, InnoMatNet has developed and implemented a set of activities that range from the identification of key stakeholders and the mapping of their needs of initiatives and tools that support innovation, to the identification of best practice case studies of collaboration between materials researchers and industrial entrepreneurs. It also organised networking and training events and summer schools to bring together different actors and train young researchers. A web platform with central information, social networks and other communication and dissemination channels and strategies has also been used in order to spread this message across Europe. A competition was organised, aimed at disseminating the concepts further amongst younger researchers and practitioners.
Drawing on the experience gathered throughout the implementation of the project, InnoMatNet developed a set of policy recommendations that it believes could improve the interface between designers and materials researchers.

Mapping and needs assessment
Stakeholders were grouped into different segments, and a questionnaire was developed by the project team with the purpose of obtaining innovators’ and innovation stakeholders’ views on the tools and measures used to support and enhance innovation at the interface between materials research and product design in Europe.
The groups approached included companies manufacturing materials and assembled goods, key value chain stakeholders including designers, scientists, technologists, groups representing consumers and societal concerns, and groups with broader interests including finance, policy makers, standardization, and dissemination.
The questionnaire was designed to elicit information from the stakeholders on the drivers and barriers of innovation and tools used to enable innovation.
The questionnaire is available at
Stakeholders were approached by e-mailing and web promotion through the organizations represented within the InnoMatNet project and the questionnaire was publicised via websites and InnoMatNet events. The questionnaire was sent to in excess of 20.000 stakeholders, using contacts established through the InnoMatNet team. The questionnaire was made available online at the InnoMatNet’s website.
To obtain good coverage of all the stakeholder groups and a good understanding of the complex issues involved in delivering innovation, it was found to be important to use personal and professional contacts. So, for example, senior contacts were followed up within the national measurement system in the UK, standards, European design associations, European supply chain association, and major manufacturing enterprises from suppliers of materials to finished products and architecture design houses. In several cases follow up telephone interviews were used to clarify specific issues.
As part of the questionnaire, respondents were also invited to join the project database and to submit potential case studies.
The database is available at
It was concluded that the fast changing landscape for both materials research and product design presents significant challenges for companies and innovators. The universal sense from the questionnaire respondents concerns the immense opportunities that exist to drive new innovation. The consortium has subsequently identified a set of tools and activities to highlight the previously mapped opportunities and to encourage further knowledge sharing and exchange of ideas.
In regard of the tools, the responses highlighted the criticality of networking, and “inspiration and awareness” to create opportunities for innovation. In addition, a number of specialist technical tools were identified by respondents – these are collected together as a separate tool category. The result of this mapping is the tool classifications as follows:
- Networking – connection of key actors through associations, societies and common interest groups which support networking of broad relevance to the interface of materials research and product design;
- Inspiration and awareness – events, best practice sharing, recognition of success, roadmaps and horizon scanning, mentoring and development;
- Dialogue – virtual and web tools for accessing expertise, new ways of bringing together designers and materials researchers; includes both innovation focussed on product design solutions and new materials and materials technologies;
- Specialist technical tools – tools for sustainable product design, and specialist technical capabilities for materials selection, modelling and measurement, new materials technologies;
- Business support and access to finance – specialist business support for commercialisation of research, guidance on funding.
The mapping report is available at
Identification of best practices case studies
As part of the survey mentioned above, respondents were invited to propose examples of best practices that could help speed up the design and commercialisation of innovative products and services which exploit the potential of new materials technologies. Results were reviewed and deepened with a varied methodological approach and more specific criteria, resulting in a set of five selected cases: a small UK regional manufacturer (Peratech), a leading global brand (Kyocera), a design & materials research lab in the Netherlands (TU Delft), a university spin-off consultancy (Granta Design) and a historic study of a design-led Japanese manufacturer (Tendo Mokko).
The development of the best practice case studies involved visits to all five organisations and several face-to-face interviews (some of which were filmed, edited and made available on the project website).
Although each of the five cases constitutes a different example, it was possible to identify common features shared by the majority of these best practices:
(i) Expertise: the importance of having a solid core of high-level craft skills, process knowledge or other forms of expertise at the core of the organization;
(ii) Entrepreneurship: founded by and employing highly entrepreneurial individuals, whose vision, leadership skills and willingness to experiment has created new opportunities and alliances;
(iii) Local-global: while emphasising the importance of local resources and expertise, an engaging with national and international suppliers, researchers or consumers has kept the organisations’ thinking fresh;
(iv) Collaboration: the organisations studied are proactive collaborators – they do not just join industry groups or consortiums but in several cases have taken the lead by setting up consortia to research materials and design innovations, or facilitate cross sector dialogue;
(v) Integration of materials and design: although the drivers, approaches and methodologies are different, all the organisations ensured the integration of materials research and product design.
The report developed was given special graphic treatment to make it more appealing to readers. Individual case studies booklets were also prepared, to allow for separate dissemination in specific occasions. The full case studies are available at
Videos recorded with some of the stakeholders directly involved in the case studies are available at
In addition to contributing case studies, several interviewees have since presented their work at InnoMatNet events across Europe.

Networking and training events and summer schools
InnoMatNet has actively pursued the promotion of collaboration between different types of stakeholders, namely though the organisation of 10 events:
• Workshop 1 “Materials and Innovation: Crossroads of Future Challenges”, Warsaw, September 2012
• Workshop 2 “Eco-innovation - empowering entrepreneurship”, Brussels, December 2012
• Workshop 3 "Pushing the Boundaries of Manufacturing with Innovative Design and Materials", Hannover, April 2013
• Workshop 4 “Solving the right problem” (in conjunction with the First InnoMatNet summer school), London, July 2013
• Workshop 5 “Materials and Design-driven innovations for sustainable construction, October 2013, Guimarães, Portugal”
• Workshop 6 “Exploring the role of local communities in materials research. From best practices to policy”, January 2014, Brussels
• Workshop 7 “Smart Materials into Action. Engineering and Designing New Products” (in conjunction with the second InnoMatNet summer school), May 2014, Scientific Park Tecnocampus Mataró (Barcelona)
• Workshop 8 “Upstream collaboration between material scientists and designers”, May 2014, Lille (France)
• Workshop 9 “Train | Inspire | Exploit - Forging new alliances between designers in industry, material researchers and other innovation players”, September 2014, Design Terminal - Budapest (Hungary)
• Workshop 10 "Future of Materials in European Design and Architecture", September 2014, the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture, Oslo (Norway)
These events consisted of various types of formats, including lectures, working group discussions, breakout sessions and roundtables, bringing together a total of over five hundred participants.
More details on these events (such as agendas and presentations) are available at
The reports summarising the results of these events are available at
From these training and networking opportunities several interactions emerged between different types of stakeholders, exchange of contacts, increased awareness of the subject and a reinforced knowledge on the issues that were covered by the sessions, in sectors such as construction, manufacturing, eco-innovation, amongst others.
Additionally, InnoMatNet organised two summer schools with the aim to educate students and young researchers and to create an opportunity for them to learn about the benefits of interdisciplinary teamwork.
The summer schools included a series of talks by experts and demonstrations by case studies companies and institutions. Students were prepared for and later confronted with a complex task: the “InnoMatNet Challenge”. This challenge was designed to provide an opportunity for the participants to apply the knowledge they had gained on a task in line with a current European societal challenge. Participants were expected to propose and prototype a product/service. They had to consider the most appropriate materials for end use and manufacture, and demonstrate that their solution could have commercial potential as well as fulfil a real need. The strength of the idea, its viability, user-orientation, chosen materials, and the interdisciplinary teamwork were rated by a jury.
The first summer school took place in London, in July 2013, starting at the Institute of Materials and then moving to the New Designers, the UK premiere graduate design exhibition. The second summer school took place in the Scientific Park Tecnocampus Mataró (Barcelona), in May 2014.
More details on the summer schools (such as agendas and presentations) are available at
The reports summarising the results of these summer schools are available at
The opinion of participants in the events has been collected, both formally and informally, by means of a structured questionnaire and personal conversations, and the results have been taken into account in the definition of the following events.
In order to disseminate these concepts and promote partnerships in different regions within Europe, the events’ locations covered several European countries, including Southern Europe (Portugal, Spain), Western Europe (France, Belgium, Germany, UK), Northern Europe (Norway) and Eastern Europe (Hungary and Poland).

Support dissemination and exploitation platforms
A website was created ( as the focal information and networking platform for European material researchers and industrial entrepreneurs as well as other relevant actors. It disseminates project activities and results, tools that are useful for the materials and design community, relevant events and documents, and contains a searchable database of engaged stakeholders. From March 2013 to September 2014, the InnoMatNet webpage received 5,714 visits, of which 3,925 were returning visitors.
The project is also present in social networks, being most active on Facebook and Twitter. They were a way to disseminate the project activities, mainly the events, results and also relevant documentation. Until the date of this report, the InnoMatNet page in Facebook registered 98 likes, while the project profile in Twitter was followed by 146 users.
The project has been presented at several European level events, in order to promote the importance of collaboration between materials researchers and designers to the European economy. As an example, the project was disseminated in events such as a MatVal workshop in Brussels, in a group discussing materials and the creative industries, in ETP meeting such as SusChem, in other EU-funded projects conferences (such as Cobalt), in summer schools and Annual Meetings organised by partners (such as the EMRS Annual Meeting, the EBN annual congress, the ENoLL summer school) or in the Leading Enabling Technologies for Societal Challenges (LETS) conference, to name a few. More details are available in the dissemination section of this report.
The consortium was also invited to contribute to the discussion on the inducement prize to be awarded by the EC (the EC Challenges Prizes on Design Driven Material Development). The consortium discussed this internally and provided a common position on this issue, on aspects such as topics, criteria for selection of projects, judging panel, application procedure. One of the consortium members was also invited and attended a high-level meeting to provide further inputs to this discussion.
To support all project activities and disseminate the project, specific promotional materials have been developed and distributed at project events and other relevant occasions. The materials developed include a leaflet, a brochure, a roll-up and periodic newsletters.

InnoMatNet competition
A competition was devised as a tool to reinforce the importance of collaboration between materials researchers and the creative industries and further disseminate the concepts amongst younger researchers and practitioners.
This competition was open to young practitioners (namely architects, engineers and material designers) based in Europe. There were three main topics to apply for: Using Innovative Materials; Rediscovering Traditional Materials; and Working with Recycled Materials.
A dedicated website was created, at for dissemination of the competition and uploading of the projects.
In total, 121 entries were created in the platform (opened files /entries, not necessarily completed). The number of finalized projects, submitted for evaluation, was 62, of which 43 were considered eligible by EURAF.
The projects were assessed by a jury composed of an architect, a materials expert, an engineer and a journalist.
One project was chosen in each of the above categories and two of them were presented by their authors in one of the projects events.

Analysis of other practices, initiatives and trends
A search for other relevant practices, initiatives and trends was undertaken. The focus included design, innovation management and policy, materials technologies, business trends, professional education and research. The collected material was evaluated for relevance and the search progressed iteratively and heuristically. Observations lead to a recommendation for further action.
InnoMatNet, with its materials focus, appears to be a pioneering initiative. Design practices are becoming more sophisticated and powerful. Strategic design and design thinking are being promoted in management and government. Design can be used early in research and in science. Value chains and technology readiness levels are useful ways to examine materials R&D activities; they should be combined with applications roadmaps and 'innovation readiness' levels. Materials industry and research roadmaps can be scrutinised to reveal opportunities for InnoMatNet interventions. Information can also be assembled at a micro level to identify InnoMatNet interventions. Commercialisation management systems can incorporate design methods. Translational materials research is emerging; it can be shaped and strongly influenced by design methods. Prosumer, makerspace, fablab and living lab experiments etc. suggest an increasingly design-intensive economy. Innovation systems are an established concept in policy but design systems are less prominent. Designers' information needs are partially addressed by materials libraries; future trends are more problematic. Interactive simulation and virtual reality platforms can be expected to explore designer suggestions. Foresight scenarios and roadmapping can be combined into innovation roadmapping. Design improvements are hidden in many 'circular economy' innovations. The InnoMatNet goal can be compared with the introduction of concurrent engineering and the diffusion of open innovation. Innovation depends on ideas and opportunities as well as knowledge and expertise; it isn't a linear process. Design is often described as user-centric but it is more powerful than this; it captures information related to ideas and opportunities.

InnoMatNet is an opportunity to boost design support for innovation, to illuminate how innovation can support and drive design and to recognise the full importance and potential of design in the economy. Materials technologies can be commercialised more quickly and effectively. Design innovation opportunity space can be expanded. InnoMatNet is focused on materials related innovation and design situations; these are found in a wide range of industries.
Differences between designer and researcher interests and work practices are regarded as a barrier to interactions. Communications across disciplines are known to be problematic, especially in R&D, unless there are 'organisational' reasons to collaborate (Allen & Henn 2006). Neither design nor science and technology are disciplines; they are both sets of disciplines so this may exacerbate the difficulties. Communication hotspots in companies are associated with innovativeness (Gratton 2007) and deserve to be managed carefully. There are many thousands of situations where potential materials innovation or design improvements might be introduced if stimulated by InnoMatNet interventions. However there is a low probability that these interventions will be suggested. It is this low probability that needs to be addressed more than the difficulty of communication and interaction. Methods and practices identified during the search, including value chain analysis, business modelling and innovation roadmapping, can be used to design and develop a framework for this purpose. When an opportunity is identified by the proposed method an organisational reason to communicate will be established. Exploring the prospects for intervention will incidentally be valuable learning experiences for participants.

Recommendations to promote collaboration and induce faster development of products
InnoMatNet prepared a document based on the project’s accumulated knowledge, experience and expertise gained throughout its duration, and with the contact with relevant stakeholders directly involved in the field. This green paper proposes recommendations in the areas of education, training and research, tools and access to market.
Although it builds on the knowledge of the consortium members and on the outcomes of the first 24 months of the project, most of this work was carried out in the last six months of the project.
Taking the results of the mapping exercise developed in the first year, the conclusions of the first five project events and the insight provided by the case studies developed, the consortium used both the last four consortium meetings and the last three project events to build on a set of recommendations. Therefore, besides the involvement of the project partners, these recommendations were built with the involvement of experts in the fields of materials research and creative industries (and supporting fields such as innovation, market, etc.). Before initiating a direct contact with the stakeholders, a survey was carried out. Partners decided that the questionnaire should be short and direct. Based on the experience from the initial survey developed within the project, open and qualitative questions allow for more insight.
More information on these meetings and workshops methodologies and results is available in the specific deliverables “D2.7 Networking/training events & proceeding reports” and “D5.15 Project meetings & proceedings reports”.
The conclusions are organized in three main areas, and will be briefly presented below.
 Education, training & research
 Tools, support systems, inspiration
 Access to market
More information on these recommendations is available at
In each of these areas a few topics were considered relevant and are briefly explained below.

- Promote a more integrated education system (materials and design)
It would be beneficial if university degrees in Materials Science and Design would “borrow” contents from each other’s plans that would introduce designers to some key notions in materials and materials scientists to some central aspects of design.
The curriculum for a pilot course - an ‘ideal’ materials-design Masters’ degree – could be discussed and prepared by a working group formed by experts from both fields. In order to benefit from best practice in a wide range of countries as well as to support its future uptake at European level. Such an activity might well be supported through the activities of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), for example as an Erasmus network with resulting course(s) eventually perhaps also supported under Erasmus Mundus.

- Foster different types of training (lifelong learning, workshops,…)
Besides formal education, the interaction between materials researchers and designers should be strengthened throughout their careers, mainly through training. Several formats could be useful, from workshops to webinars. Less conventional tools like “serious games” could also serve this purpose.
Trade organisations and professional bodies can have an important role in creating awareness and delivering training across the design and materials communities as well as in certifying such training.

- Organise competitions to raise the profile of innovative products and stimulate their development
Competitions can help raise the profile of innovative products and stimulate their further development. With this in mind, InnoMatNet organized a competition on the use of materials in the building industry in which three ideas combining materials and design in an innovative way were selected for further media coverage using InnoMatNet’s large network of stakeholders. From this process and from discussing the value of such competitions in its development of this document, the project gathered some suggestions about the way in which such competitions could be implemented, which are particularly relevant to current activities at European level.

- Encourage the creation, development and support of multi-disciplinary networks and communities
InnoMatNet has launched a networking platform with a considerable wide range of entities across Europe. It is necessary that network animation is maintained in the future, so that this network (and similar networks) will be active and profitable in terms of collaborations and interaction between the different types of actors that subscribed and others that will certainly adhere to it in the meanwhile.
Besides the creation of new multi-disciplinary networks and communities, integration of new types of stakeholders in existing communities could be an effective alternative. For instance, integrating designers in the main materials societies, such as the European Materials Research Society or other global member organizations such as the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, could be an interesting option, either by means of creating a specific membership status for designers or by promoting specific events each year, perhaps through collaborations with membership organizations including designers, architects etc.. In the same way, integrating materials researchers in initiatives such as “Design for Europe” could also be relevant.

- Diffuse successful cases of positive impacts of collaboration between designers and materials researchers (best practices)
As in most industries there is no tradition of collaboration between materials researchers and designers. Ensuring that successful cases are disseminated widely to relevant stakeholders would mean that these stakeholders get an idea of the real effects such interaction can have. Such cases can also be used as teaching materials (e.g. by Business schools) to educate the next generation of industry about the benefits of such collaboration.
It would also be useful to get a better understanding of the materials selection techniques that professional designers employ, as a way of gauging what challenges and gaps exist in access to materials knowledge, samples, etc.
As an example, the methodologies used and the outcomes from the R&D projects that have been funded under FP7 (e.g. in a call related to novel materials and design-based solutions for the creative industry), should be widely disseminated and discussed.

- Promote tools to reinforce opportunities for dialogue between materials researchers and designers
To enhance the development and uptake of products by the market, it is important not only to promote dialogue between materials researchers and designers but also to devise ways to involve other relevant stakeholders, such as the customers (which may be the final customers but also other industries), governmental bodies, Knowledge Transfer Networks, business associations, amongst others.
A number of tools were identified during the course of InnoMatNet’s activities that could support such dialogue including:
• Materials libraries (here, the majority opinion was that these should be established as a public, rather than a commercial, service);
• Living labs, to involve and receive feedback from some of these actors – a co-design approach, allowing the needs of multiple stakeholders to be addressed;
• Online platforms as a “market place” of ideas, technology, and challenges focused on materials and design.

- Support the development of strategic roadmaps
The development of roadmaps intends to provide strategic guidelines for future research and development activities in the area of Material Science in combination with Design. The guidelines for the proposed roadmaps are aimed at ensuring the long-term sustainability of the field. They will also outline the steps to be undertaken in order to achieve the vision of full deployment and utilization.
Road mapping is important not only as a tool that provides guidelines and directions for action but also in terms of the process itself, if the most relevant stakeholders are involved in its development and they feel part of it and their concerns and ideas are reflected in the final document. If a dialogue is established with the major stakeholders, then the interface between materials and design innovation is included in their strategic thinking and their members’ motivations are better understood.

- Promote procurement policies that foster the development of innovative and sustainable products
Resource efficiency is a systemic problem which is best addressed by going back to product fundamentals and designing out waste from product designs, supply chains and business models. This cannot be resolved by manufacturers alone – there needs to be collaboration with service providers, policymakers and customers to create conditions that foster disruptive innovation.
Governments have an important goal in promoting greener and more innovative companies through public procurement (often termed Green Public Procurement (GPP). Public procurement is key to the change in paradigm, leading the way to B2B procurement. This is particularly true for products with higher initial acquisition costs, but lower maintenance or increased durability, which need to differentiate on overall performance and require a more long-term investment from customers. Public entities have a major role to play here since public procurement is leading the way.

Potential Impact:
InnoMatNet aimed at a broad European approach, having included in the consortium a few European networks, such as the European Business Innovation Centres (EBN), the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS), the European Architecture Foundation (EURAF) and the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL), amongst other partners. Besides the European approach, the consortium also covered the different relevant areas for developing this project, such as knowledge in materials, design, innovation, business support, amongst others.
Most of the activities carried out during the project contributed to its dissemination amongst different stakeholders – researchers, entrepreneurs, companies, policy makers, civil society, regional authorities, as well as others.
As previously mentioned, all the events allowed for dissemination of the project, its results and of other projects, initiatives, best practices and tools that could help the community that InnoMatNet was building. They also allowed for the establishment of new contacts that could potentially result in new collaborations.
The summer schools had a different, more specific, target group and both of them had the expected impact – attracting students from different countries across Europe, from different disciplines, who learned together the benefits of working in multidisciplinary teams and of using new approaches to develop an idea or project. The outcome was very positive with students registering for other project events and recommending the new edition of the summer school, one year on, to their colleagues.
In total, over 500 stakeholders attended the project events.
The website and social networks were powerful tools in the dissemination of the project. The numbers of visitors to the website and in particular the number of followers in Twitter (146, at the time of the report) are also important indicators. It is worth noting that all these means were used to convey not only information on the project but also information on topics and events related to the project that the consortium believed could be of relevance to the InnoMatNet community.
A total of 335 stakeholders registered in the InnoMatNet database. Although this number was lower than expected, the number of stakeholders that directly received the project information, such as newsletters, was much higher at over 1,500. This included all those who were registered in the database, had attended previous events or had somehow interacted with the project.
The website also contains summary information about tools and activities that might help stakeholders better exploit the potential of new materials in different industrial sectors ( Tools are searchable by category or keywords. For each tool, a link is provided to a website where more information is available.
Case studies were an important way to gather valuable information on best practices but also involved stakeholders, with some of the representatives of the organisations featured then participating in project events.
The case studies were printed as an A5 book, with special attention given to graphic detail, and have been printed by some partners for distribution in events outside the project. In one case, they have been used as a way to attract stakeholders to a specific event on “Social Innovation & Design”, where InnoMatNet and the case studies in particular were featured.
The case studies are also available online and could be further used by other organisations as a learning tool.
Also, to further improve the dissemination amongst a younger audience a competition was organised. The competition was disseminated by the InnoMatNet project and its partners and eligible applications were received from 12 countries in Europe.

Some of the outcomes of the project can be further used and exploited beyond its lifetime.
The green paper provides some recommendations (briefly explained in the previous sections) that could help promote collaboration between materials researchers and the creative industries. The proposals are designed to offer a number of concrete actions that can be taken at different level of funding (EU/ national/ regional) and, while some of them may require more time and investment, others are more straightforward, such as lifelong learning programmes that combine these two areas, and could be implemented at all the levels mentioned.
These recommendations were already presented at the Leading Enabling Technologies for Societal Challenges (LETS) conference, organised in the context of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It is worth emphasizing that two of the project partners were members of the High Level Steering Committee, appointed to design a set of priorities for the Conference and the main message to be promoted through the event. In the framework if this conference, the consortium helped shape a session on “Design-driven innovation and frontier materials technologies”.
It is also important to note that the formulation of recommendations as a process that involved other stakeholders outside of the consortium. Some were included to a lesser extent, e.g. by replying to a survey, others to a larger extent by being involved in discussion workshops. In some cases, such as the recommendation to design a pilot course - an ‘ideal’ materials-design Masters’ degree -, some of the specialists were particularly involved and expressed a desire to take part in follow up activities.
All the workshops, summer schools and other project activities were not just means to disseminate the concepts, exchange best practices and identify new opportunities; they were also a powerful means to build and promote a community.
The case studies developed during the project were also important as a tool to inspire stakeholders attending the projects events. As in most industries there is little tradition of collaboration between materials researchers and designers, ensuring that successful cases are spread among relevant stakeholders would mean they get in contact with the real effects of that interaction. The case studies developed during the project were already used and disseminated by partners outside project events.
The summer schools had a good impact on those attending. Most students considered it a unique learning opportunity, especially given the fact that the work was carried out in multidisciplinary teams.
In fact, the two points for improvement received from those attending the summer schools were related to their duration: students wished it had lasted longer, so that they had more time for hands-on work and also more time to interact with the speakers that inspired them and the tutors that guided them through their work. A brief note to mention that students from the first summer school recommended it to colleagues, one of whom attended the second summer school. The same happened with the workshops, with people attending one workshop as a result of a personal recommendation from colleagues or friends.
Furthermore, as evidenced by this report, partners will continue to present its results beyond its duration. Several events have already taken place or are due to take place and are recorded in the dissemination activities conducted by the report.
Also, some recent initiatives under way can benefit from the project’s accumulated knowledge, namely though the involvement of InnoMatNet’s partners.
For instance, Europeana Creative is a European project which enables and promotes greater re-use of cultural heritage resources by creative industries. The project involves two networks that are part of the InnoMatNet consortium – EBN and ENoLL – and it will be an opportunity to reinforce the community built during the InnoMatNet project and disseminate its results.
ENoLL is also a member of the Design for Europe Initiative, and it can take some of the results and methodologies of InnoMatNet to this project, which shares many of InnoMatNet’s objectives and activities such as: development of case studies that demonstrate the impact and value of good design, events and workshops across Europe, ideas and debate on the future role of design in innovation.

List of Websites:
Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação, Portugal (Project Coordinator)
Project Coordinator: Augusto Medina

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