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Service Design for Innovation

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SDIN (Service Design for Innovation)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-12-31

Innovation has been set at the heart of Europe’s strategy set by Horizon 2020. With strong competitive pressures from globalization, future economic growth and jobs will increasingly come from innovation in products, services and business models. In 2012, services repre-sented 72.2% of total employment and 72,8% of gross value added generated by EU27. Service innovation becomes a strategic imperative for the Innovation Union, and service innovation professionals are in great need. Service design is an emerging academic and professional field including concepts, models, tools and hands on approaches with great potential to foster service innovation. However, service design and service innovation frameworks are still dispersed, lacking integration, systematisation and widespread usage across organisations.
The objectives of SDIN-ETN ( are to systematise these diverse approaches into a research training framework that integrates service design and service innovation in a multidisciplinary approach; doing so fully leverages the creative power of service design to foster innovation, specifically addressing the design for increased stakeholder participation in value co-creation and the design of complex service systems and value networks.
During this period the SDIN project accomplished all the defined goals, with 9 ESRs on course to finish their PhDs.Also ESRs had already a considerable impact in service design and innovation research. After the first two years for initial research tasks and completing the three training courses and four workshops, the SDIN Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) began publishing in conferences and in journals. By the end of 2018, three journal articles were already published by ESRs on the Journal of Service Management (Impact Factor: 3.414) and one in Design Studies (Impact Factor 3.39) with many more in the revision process. The scientific and general dissemination of the project had an estimated reach of 4000 people, not considering the reach of project online presence (Website, Newsletter, LinkedIn, Twitter and Slack). The consortium maintained regular communication through monthly Skype meetings and through face to face meetings hosted by different beneficiaries each six months. All deliverables have been timely completed and submitted and no major deviation occurred. Finally, regarding ethics, SDIN established an ethics manual that the ESRs have followed. The ESRs have also submitted their individual studies to the respective ethics committees.
Overall, the SDIN project has fully accomplishing the objectives set for the project. The 9 ESRs are well advanced in their PhDs and are expected to finish their doctoral programs in the coming years. Funding is already secured for all ESRs that need it to finish their PhD's. This accomplished the objective of attaining critical mass to significantly advance research on service design and innovation. The advancements in service design and innovation research are already evident with dozens of conference participations and impactful publications already published. Namely. three articles have already been published in the Journal of Service Management (Impact Factor: 3.4 in 2018) and one in Design Studies (Impact Factor of 3.39 in 2018). Many others are in different stages of preparation and review. These publications reflect advances on the main topics of the project, namely in the understanding of interdisciplinary contributions to service design and innovation, on service design approaches for service logic innovation, service design methods for technology-enabled services and for engaging stakeholders, stakeholder participation and engagement in value co-creation (including public services), customer experience in value networks, service prototyping for value constellations and design of service platforms for service ecosystems.

Three fundamental courses were developed and offered not only to the ESRs but to other Phd students from the beneficiaries, raising the potential for spill over effects from the SDIN project. The fundamental courses have also been recognized by University of Porto, allowing for future editions of these courses to be opened, thus ensuring a lasting impact of the SDIN project. The results of the SDIN project were also disseminated through the SDIN Annual Conferences. These conferences had a combined number of more than 250 participants, accomplishing their goal of exposing the research done in SDIN to companies and other regional partners of the SDIN beneficiaries. The SDIN Conferences accomplished their potential of producing spill-over effects that are an important objective of the project. These conferences also allowed the ESRs to start building their own network of contacts outside academia, potentiating their employability opportunities. The academic beneficiaries have also reinforced their leading role on service design and innovation research with Maastricht University successfully organizing Servsig 2016 ( University of Porto successfully organizing QUIS15 ( in 2017 and IPDMC in 2018, and Politecnico di Milano successfully organizing SERVDES in 2018. These are major service research and service design conferences that attracted hundreds of researchers and practitioners.

Finally, the non-academic sector was well integrated and contributed to the network with the two non-academic beneficiaries (EDP and the County Council of Värmland) being completely in tune with the other beneficiaries. The County Council of Värmland offered various secondment opportunities and organized a workshop. Also, non-academic associated partners have offered secondment opportunities.
Group Photo February 2019
Group Photo January 2017
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