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Harnessing the power of Digital Social Platforms to shake up makers and manufacturing entrepreneurs towards a European Open Manufacturing ecosystem

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - OpenMaker (Harnessing the power of Digital Social Platforms to shake up makers and manufacturing entrepreneurs towards a European Open Manufacturing ecosystem)

Reporting period: 2017-10-20 to 2018-12-19

In 2014, Manufacturing represented around 16% of the EU GDP, more than 80% of EU total exports, and employed 30 million people. The financial crisis hit the sector leading to the loss of over 3.8 million jobs. Transforming the existing European manufacturing production processes and models is a complex challenge. However, the so-called Maker movement is creating new open technologies in the field of digital fabrication and craftsmanship. Understanding how the collaborative processes pioneered by it can be relevant for the European manufacturing is important considering that they have produced deep and valuable transformations within the digital industries.
OpenMaker aims at creating a transformational and collaborative ecosystem that fosters collective innovations within the European manufacturing sector and drives it towards more sustainable business models, production processes, products and governance systems. OpenMaker brings together traditional manufacturers and digital-savvy makers, engaging in the process all the relevant stakeholders (citizens, universities, local authorities, civil society organisations and policy-makers).
OpenMaker is organised into 5 work packages. WP1 focuses on the construction and scaling of four vibrant communities between traditional manufacturers, makers, citizens and stakeholders. WP2 defines the conceptual framework that helps fostering collective-awareness within open manufacturing communities, and creates the digital space for the established communities. WP3 focuses on the ex-ante and ex-post evaluation. WP4 ensures a sound communication and dissemination strategy. WP5 ensures robust quality control measures.
From the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by this report the efforts of the consortium were dedicated to:
- Build up and scale up four vibrant communities (LES) between traditional manufacturers, makers, citizens and stakeholders in four European countries (Italy, Slovakia, Spain, and the UK).
- Deliver a Local Enabling Programme (LEP) in each LES, consisting in a continuous activity of scouting, networking, matchmaking and awareness raising, and culminated in a Pilot Supporting Scheme (PSS).
- Map 678 contacts (makers, manufacturers, stakeholders, investors, policymakers).
- Deliver a total of 108 local events at the four LES, directly involving over 3,000 people.
- Attend 53 events at local and regional level organised by other institutions, indirectly involving more than 3,500 people.
- Register over 500 individuals representing traditional manufacturers, makers/hackers, policymakers and other stakeholders in the platform.
- Implement the PSS, which has received 137 applications, and supporting and mentoring 21 awarding maker – manufacturing partnerships.
- Develop the concept framework behind the platform.
- Build up the platform infrastructure.
- Deliver a set of network driven metrics that generate user specific recommendations.
- Integrate machine learning for co-creation of community systems.
- Develop the Minimum Viable Product of the platform.
- Define the Impact Evaluation tools for the four LES, e.g. the use of on-boarding forms for baseline data, semi-structured interviews, and feedback forms (online and offline versions).
- Conduct a total of 162 semi-structured interviews with LES Enablers (community facilitators in each LES) and LES members (users of the platform).
- Deliver 4 Impact workshops to maximise the social and environmental impact of the 21 winning ideas.
- Engage in the implementation of a Maker space at the Boğaziçi University, Istanbul.
- Design the logo, project website, satellite sites in each LES, and promotional material for the project. The OpenMaker Newsletter has reached over 1,500 subscribers.
- Develop an active web presence, reaching over 10,170 users in the project website, and over 1,380 Twitter followers.
- Produce a total of 26 videos that focus on inspiring ideas within the OpenMaker community and maker movement.
- Organise 2 high-policy workshops at the European Parliament, and a project final conference.
- Participate in 17 events of national and European dimension.
- Reach over 432,000 non-specialist public, 42,000 people representing the industry sector and 98,000 people representing makers/hacker spaces.
- Present the OpenMaker Innovation Book, a catalogue of success stories gathered from the OpenMaker community.
- Produce a technical paper highlighting concrete and actionable policy recommendations to unlock the transformative power of the Maker movement in Europe.
- Establish an external Advisory Board.
- Organise quarterly operational meetings and annually consortium and project board meetings.
- Prepare quarterly technical and financial reports.
Local Enabling Spaces: the establishment of the LES in four European countries has facilitated the formation of local emerging communities between traditional manufacturers and makers with the active participation of citizens and stakeholders. Through the PSS, a total of 21 innovative ideas with social impact have received financial support, mentoring and coaching and have presented their prototype to private and institutional investors. A total of 108 events, locally organised and delivered by the four LES, have actively involved over 3,000 people representing the industry, makers/hackers spaces, policymakers and other stakeholders. They have boosted relations, trust and sharing between makers, traditional manufacturers and stakeholders in each LES community.
Digital Social Platform (DSP): Through the conceptual framework of the platform and network metrics, OpenMaker has enhanced the understanding on how partnerships between makers and manufacturers can develop cutting edge technical innovations with the potential to address societal challenges. A Minimum Viable Product of the platform has been launched. The DSP is the virtual place where the on-line interaction between the users (primarily the four LES), the maker community and traditional manufacturers and other stakeholders occurs and it is meant to influence and to enhance the actual offline interaction and production.
Impact: the Impact Evaluation Framework has helped the four LES to map their key stakeholders and has provided with the means to support stakeholders in increasing their positive socio-economic impact while innovating their business models. By analysing data collected through both offline and online tools, future recommendations for country-specific project implementation and policies have been conducted.
Outreach: through: 1) an active web presence via the project website and social media, 2) the production of 26 inspiring videos, and promotional material, 3) the organisation of more than 100 events in the four LES and of 3 major events (of which 2 at the European Parliament), and 4) the attendance at 53 events organised locally by other institutions, OpenMaker has created and raised awareness of open manufacturing, reaching over 432,000 non-specialist public, 42,000 people representing the industry sector and 98,000 people representing makers/hacker spaces. Through the publication of a technical paper, OpenMaker has highlighted concrete and actionable policy recommendations for Europe to capitalize on the skills, expertise and innovation present within the maker community in the context of the transition towards industry 4.0 paradigm.