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Creative collaboration to provide value for first time innovators - effective engagement of stakeholders and users in co-creation processes in SMEs.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Create4value (Creative collaboration to provide value for first time innovators - effective engagement of stakeholders and users in co-creation processes in SMEs.)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2021-02-28

There is a number of small and medium-sized companies in the Wielkopolska region, that do not recognize the value of innovation. They have the necessary resources (i.e. size, turnover, experienced and educated HR) to introduce innovation, but have been never engaged in any type of innovation process. Create4Value project addresses the challenge of unlocking the potential of such type of companies in small-scale pilot initiative. Co-creation of new products and/or services gives not only the company opportunity to develop but also employees gain new skills and knowledge.

The overall objective of the project is to adapt a significantly improved methodology of co-creation to the needs of a specific group of SMEs from the Wielkopolska region, which are “first-time innovators” or “potentially innovative SMEs”. The improved methodology is being tested by Poznan Science and Technology Park in 3 companies.
The work in the project started with the development of a methodology for RCTs with impact indicators. A the same time methodology and toolbox for co-creation process as well as methodology for incentivising users were developed. These documents were necessary for starting the work with companies. During development of these documents the previous experiences of team members from co-creation processes were exploited. 2 members of the team participated in high-quality training on design thinking methods, which significantly improved the methods of work with companies in the pilot. In the next step open call for participation in pilot co-creation was launched and in the randomisation 3 companies were selected for treatment (co-creation process with BMC) as well as 3 for the control group (BMC only). The full co-creation processes including BMC exercise for one company was finalised. The co-creation process with second company was launched subject of delay due to COVID-19 restrictions. During the project duration technical and financial management was carried out.
Companies starting to innovate have a great potential to absorb innovation support of local, regional and national agencies and therefore experimenting new innovation services with them can provide economic impact in long term. Experimentation with co-creation gives companies significant value, not only new product concept but also new knowledge and skills. Such activities also stimulate development of innovation culture in companies. Knowledge and skills can be shared with other employees in company, not involved in the experiment before. During the reporting period 1st pilot was finalised. Until the end of the project additional 2 co-creation processes will be implemented plus 3 Business Model Canvas exercises with the control group. The concept of experimentation to deliver only such support schemes that are the most valuable and effective from the company point of view will be widely disseminated by PSTP through the network of contacts. We can already say that from innovation agency perspective carrying out the process during the pandemics generated new challanges which led us to even more flexible and pro-active approach in terms of organisation of the process and interactions with comapnies to keep them involved in extended timeframe and resulted in introducing modifications to toolbox for co-creation process.
co-creation workshop illustration 2
co-creation workshop illustration 1