Science2Society Press Release: Launching the project and its objectives and expectations

Press releases

08 February, 2017   Press releases


European Aim to Lead Innovation

Science2Society starts to boost innovation efficiency across Europe


A consortium including 18 partners which are based in seven European countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) has begun work on a major project to improve innovation processes and their effectiveness in society. Titled ‘Science2Society’, the ECfunded project will assess the mechanisms through which universities, research organisations, society and industry collaborate to create value.

Value can be created through sparkling new ideas, differentiating new products and services, capturing the benefits of publicly funded research and ultimately producing winning solutions for today’s societal challenges.

The Science2Society project is expected to take three years to reach completion, during which it will directly engage with some 50 universities and research organisations, 30 industries and 100 small businesses.

Accelerating Innovation

The overall mission of Science2Society is to understand and improve the efficiency of the European innovation system and the ways it creates new businesses, turns technology into products and services, attracts financing and generally creates value from academic research.

The study is focusing on key schemes currently used to encourage use of innovation. These include co-creation of products in a virtual ‘ideas laboratory’, co-location of industry laboratories in universities as well as coaching and training provided by universities to SMEs.

Outrun innovation systems outside Europe

More specific objectives include compiling an easily accessible knowledge database of university / industry / society interface schemes suitable for today’s more open environment, the creation of a clear and proven set of guidelines and tools, and developing a sustainable learning programme for continued replication of the best schemes. This last objective will have a critical mass of some 3000 European stakeholders and therefore will have a substantial impact throughout Europe.

Shaping the European Research Arena

The proposed project will disseminate its results throughout Europe, aiming to successfully replicate the best university / industry / society collaboration programmes to a large number of stakeholders. European researchers are using collaboration to positively shape the European research agenda.

About the pilots

The first pilot (Co-creation, Product development with future users in a Virtual Idea Laboratory (ProVIL)) is a product development project with about 50 students from mechanical engineering and 10 students from industrial engineering held at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The students will develop product concepts in the field of mobility answering a task assignment from an automotive OEM (CRF). ProVIL consists of four phases starting with initial research phase followed by the creating of product profiles and product ideas and ending with the creation of product concepts. The hub for the open innovation process is an innovation platform allowing to systematically perform co-creation in an virtual environment between the students and the automotive OEM.

In the second pilot (Co-Location) the consortium will identify the main advantages and bottlenecks of establishing a research collaboration between a multinational company with distributed R&D labs/teams, RTOs and one or more universities. Both industrial / RTOs teams and academic teams may or may not be collocated, but they will al be working on the same research project. CA labs will explore the possibility to create an R&D competence center by the UPC in the mid/long term.

For the third pilot, Collaborative R&D&I projects of universities, RTOs, industries, SMEs, and public sector, S2S will develop best practices how cross-organizational research teams should interact when jointly developing novel technologies and exploiting them. The focus of the pilot will be set on how to initiate, facilitate and reward cross-organizational research teams for sharing ideas, information, and knowledge to increase synergy (reconcile individual motivations in one common goal), quality and speed of interaction (foster personal commitment & mutual trust).

The fourth pilot focusses on the implementation of intersectoral staff mobility between universities, RTOs and (large and small) companies as an enabler for open science & innovation. Various staff mobility stimuli funding programmes do exist already today. S2S will investigate how current and potential future beneficiaries of such programmes (want to) deploy intersectoral staff mobility in the context of open innovation or what are the bottlenecks for not yet doing so. Guidelines and best practices will be drafted for the beneficiaries and policy briefing information for the agencies and governments for further improving and growing the scheme.

In the fifth pilot existing research Big data transfer concepts will be scrutinised. A survey of opportunities, requirements, and bottlenecks for research data provision in different sectors will be conducted. The main outcomes are guidelines and best practices for motivating the researchers to share their research data as well as motivating the industry and society to take advantage and exploit open and available research data.

During the sixth pilot the consortium will explore and try to improve the 1 to 1 knowledge transfer from academia to SMEs. For this it will map the current, typical knowledge transfer process, identify the steps and tasks that appear the most problematic, explore possible solutions and summarise the outputs, create guidelines on how to streamline University-SME knowledge transfer.

The seventh pilot will focuss on the development and implementation of an Online Open Innovation marketplace for technology transfer to support University’s Technology Transfer Offices’ technology commercialization activitity. Since H. Chesbrough coined the term Open Innovation back in 2003, the Internet Industry growth has boosted the development of “The Sharing Economy” (e.g. Uber, Wase, Airbnb, Upwork). Within this context, many companies are using the Internet as a strategic way to find new technology, innovate faster, engage with new external technology partners more efficiently as well as better position their brands as a “Partner of Choice”. Learning from the Industry best practices and based on existing SoA Open Innovation platform InnogetCloud, this pilot will challenge Universities to create processes and implement tools to foster Technology Transfer from a technology push approach by creating a research base community that can be directly linked to external market oriented stakeholders (Industry, RTOs, VC, Startups, and SMEs).

About the Science2Society project

“I to P” - Innovation to product and beyond

Science2Society creates, pilots and shares good practices, guidelines and training materials that improve awareness and practical performance in seven concrete university-industry-society interfacing schemes especially affected by Science 2.0 and open innovation. It covers a very wide range of interfacing / co-creation approaches (and the synergy between them) and advances far beyond the traditional role of the interface as a facilitator of knowledge transfer from university to business.

Backed with a total budget of € 2,85M (2016-18) Science2Society not only collects knowledge and models; it deeply and innovatively analyses how these can be improved (using advanced methods pioneered in business practice such as process re-engineering, design thinking and change management) and runs substantial experiments to validate the created optimized interfacing schemes.

The project brings together both practitioners and as method and system experts, universities, industries, research and technology organizations and SMEs. The project is endorsed by large (EU-level) networks of peers and ecosystem.

The consortium – covering the full value chain


 Katholieke Universiteit Leuven – coordinator of the project
 Karlsruher Institut für Technologie – Institut für Produktentwicklung
 UPC Technology Centre (CIT UPC)
 IfM Education and Consultancy Services Ltd – University of Cambridge
 Aalto University
 Technische Universität Darmstadt

Industrial partners:
 Centro Ricerche FIAT ScpA
 Siemens Industry Software NV
 Atos Spain S.A.
 CA Technologies Development Spain, S.A.U.


 i2m Unternehmensentwicklung GmbH
 Bax & Willems S.L.
 Spirit Design – Innovation and Brand GmbH
 Innoget
 CogniStreamer

RTOs (Research and Technology Organizations):

 Virtual Vehicle Research Center
 Fraunhofer - LBF
 The Joint Institute for Innovation Policy Aisbl Associated lead partners
 Toyota Motor Europe NV/SA
 General Electric
 EIRMA – European Industrial Research Management Association
 EUA – European University Association
 BDVA - Big Data Value Association
 EARPA – European Automotiv Research Partner Association
 ERRIN – European Region Research and Innovation Network

Note: This press release was first posted on Science2Society0s website. You can read the original document there.



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