Skip to main content

The Fablab for geodata-driven innovation - by leveraging Space data in particular, in Universities 2.0

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FabSpace 2.0 (The Fablab for geodata-driven innovation - by leveraging Space data in particular, in Universities 2.0)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2019-02-28

FabSpace 2.0 received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement n°693210. This project began on March 1st 2016 and lasted 3 years. It is under the lead of Univ. Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier.
FabSpace 2.0 is the open-innovation network for geodata-driven innovation – by leveraging Space data in particular, in Universities 2.0. Its Work programme topic addresses INSO-4-2015: Innovative schemes for open innovation and science 2.0 b) Academia-Business/Public/CSO knowledge co-creation Coordination and support action.
The FabSpace 2.0 project makes universities open-innovation centres for their region and improves their contribution to the socio-economic and environmental performance of societies. The project concentrates on data-driven innovation, with a particular attention to Earth Observation data, being a research area with high expected socio-economic impact.
In FabSpace 2.0 project we:
• Set up and operate at University a free-access place & service where students, researchers and external users can make use of a data platform and design and test their own applications.
• Train the users to improve their capacity to process data and develop new applications.
• Network students, researchers, entrepreneurs, project managers in industry and public authorities, civil society organisations and other representatives of civilians, consolidate user needs and industry requirements, foster the co-creation of new innovative solutions, support further business development.
• Exploit, sustain and disseminate the concept.
In the six European regions covered by the consortium, partner universities (Univ. Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier, Univ. Degli Studi Di Roma “Tor Vergata”, Univ. de Liège, Technische Univ. Darmstadt, Warsaw Univ. of Technology, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems) worked together with co-located Business Incubation Centres some being European Space Agency (ESA BICs): Aerospace Valley, Lazio Innova SPA, WSL SA, Cesah GmbH Centrum für Satellitennavigation Hessen, OPEGIEKA Sp. z.o.o. Athena Research and Innovation Center in Information & Knowledge Technologies. This consortium, completed by TerraNIS – operating the European Group of Enterprises for a Network of Information Using Space (EUGENIUS), and IDGEO – offering continuous trainings in Geomatics, and the European Business Network (EBN), was a key success factor for the project.
The project is a real success:
• By the end of the 1st year, the 6 FabSpaces (Toulouse, France; Rome, Italy; Liège, Belgium; Darmstadt, Germany; Warsaw, Poland; Athens, Greece) were ready to open, offering a FabSpace manager to welcome and support them regarding technical questions on EO data in an open place, and a platform to play with the datasets and experiment applications. Openings had been advertised through “Open Days”, in order to present the concept, show the premises, and demonstrate the data platform.
• Starting from the 2nsdecond year, FabSpace 2.0 organizes animations and innovation events such as hackathons which attracted many users in the 6 FabSpaces. FabSpace partners collectioned various challenges from public authorities, companies and NGOs. FabSpace 2.0 pre-incubated the first application ideas through the first bootcamp in the second year of the project. The consortium also selected 14 new FabSpaces worldwide in 2018, starting to elaborate the FabSpace 2.0 network.
• Finally, as the 3rd year was ending, activities in the FabSpaces kept going, always offering new animations, trainings (technical or business), hackathons, and bootcamps. The consortium selected 15 extra FabSpaces to join the network.
The consortium carried out extensive communication efforts (especially to external and targeted audiences) during the entire duration of the FabSpace 2.0 project. Communication activities improved as the project matured, with good results highlighted in the second period; all targets and KPIs were met if not exceeded at the end of the project.
Whether regarding internal activities or external events, the attention and interest aroused by FabSpace 2.0 are incontestable, proving this project is a particularly opportune one in the current legal and business context surrounding the open-innovation network for geodata-driven innovation in Universities 2.0.
Animation and networking activities have a great impact on users of the FabSpaces providing support, networking and one-to-one guidance and mentoring to foster them create their own start-ups. A wide network of local stakeholders, including universities, companies, public administrations, etc., was engaged to those activities and worked in close cooperation in order to transfer knowledge, experience and support to students, researchers and aspiring entrepreneurs.
The 6 founder FabSpaces received more than 4,300 visitors and 1,600 users (target 1,500). They were trained and educated on the capacities of EO and the space industry in Europe and worldwide. The 6 FabSpaces have incubated 4 startups which was not an initially expected result of the project, and are helping 7 other startups to develop their activities. The potential for incubation of other applications ideas, from the about 200 ideas that FabSpace users had, is under evaluation.
The FabSpace 2.0 network is 35 locations in 2019 in Europe and worldwide. Its positive impact is recognised also by European players such as Copernicus, ESA and other H2020 projects that have been working with networks for innovation. FabSpace 2.0 work and experience in contributing to the sustainability of a University and business partner network interests many players that have similar interest and plans and with which FabSpace 2.0 has developed cooperation links. This is a sound basis for the further expansion and continuation of the FabSpace 2.0 network on a global scale.
The FabSpace 2.0 project is fully in line with the expected impacts of the “INSO-4-2015: Innovative schemes for open innovation and science 2.0” topic. Its major impacts can be summarised as follows:
• Make universities & research organisations more involved in innovation activities, through the development of interactions with innovators in industry and the public sector, with an increasing socio-economic impact
• Boost innovation skills in public administration
• Equip researchers with innovation leadership knowledge
• Raise awareness of the potential of co-creation of new solutions and other open innovation activities
• Understand better the culture and (potentially conflicting) objectives of the partners
During the FabSpace 2.0 project, we continuously spread the open-innovation spirit at the universities towards both the inside (i.e. students, researchers and teachers) and the outside (i.e. general public at large, public authorities, SMEs and large companies, NGOs).
The main impacts of the projects are:
• Startups creation: Several application ideas initially developed as part of innovation events or trainings organized by the consortium were converted into startups or are in the process of expanding.
• Business contracts and support: Each FabSpace developed business contracts between businesses to help launch new startups.
• Mediating students: Each FabSpace supported Master and PhD students, providing technical and/or methodological support. As part of their curricular activities, students developed ideas and applications, and at times created startups.
The 6 local FabSpaces
Specific objectives of the project
FabSpace 2.0 logo