INVENTORY OF GOOD PRACTICES ON OPEN INNOVATION Aalto Design Factory. Helsinki, Finland

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1 INVENTORY OF GOOD PRACTICES ON OPEN INNOVATION Aalto Design Factory Helsinki, Finland

2 Table of contents 1. Good Practice Profile Good Practice General Description Good Practice Analysis Lessons Learnt Page 2

3 1. Good Practice Profile 1.1. Name of good practice. Aalto Design Factory Localisation of the good practice. Helsinki, Finland Promoter of good practice. WTRDA Sources of information (website): Contact details. Mrs. Eszter Fátrai West Transdanubian Regional Development Agency, Mrs. Pirjo Helander-Björkwall Executive Secretary Tel: Policy area addressed. Networking and Collaboration. Human Capital and Entrepreneurship Culture. IP management and Technology Markets. Access to Finance. Page 3

4 Knowledge and Science and Technology base 1.7. Role/s played by regional public authorities. Enabler. Director. Facilitator. Financier. Page 4

5 1.8. Open Innovation Framework Conditions addressed. Capability: ability to exploit full potential. Network: interaction among actors in innovation systems. Institutional: Innovation system actors (universities, patent offices, ). Framework: regulatory frameworks, IPR regime, consumer demand. Policy: governance capacity Specific aspects dealt with in relation to the regional conditions conducive to better Open Innovation practices. Innovative coaching - Critical mass of high quality research. - Integrated approach on research valorisation: multidisciplinary team & high value services. - Clear incentives and policies to encourage research groups and departments to actively seek knowledge transfer opportunities. - Creation of appropriate entrepreneurial climate in a university context. - Legal context with respect to exploitation of academic research. - Innovation systems available in the region. Research and technical development - Performing technological due diligence (assessing how unique the methodology/action is in the world / on the market). - Creating an appropriate IP strategy. - Developing a balanced innovation strategy (including R&D roadmap, balanced portfolio of short, medium and long term R&D objectives). - Identifying and providing access to specialized R&D equipment and facilities. - Identifying and relating to (global) networks of world-class scientists, experts, technical and/or industrial partners. Operalisation Page 5

6 - Creating infrastructure for the valorisation or transfer process. - Manage tacit knowledge in relation to hard knowledge, in order to implement the full picture. - Developing adequate contractual arrangements related to IP/liabilities, partners and stakeholders. Management and organisation - Developing management capabilities (decision making skills, deal making skills, presentation skills, etc.). - Formation of a Board of Directors with management experience. - Formation and development of a senior management team with business experience. - Developing adequate HR administrative procedures and arrangements (incl. tax/legal aspects). Page 6

7 2. Good Practice Description 2.1. Brief description (one page max.) Design Factory located in Otaniemi was opened as one of the projects of Aalto University in October The Aalto University is a new university with centuries of experience because in 2010, it was created from the merger of three leading Finnish universities: the Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki University of Technology and The University of Art and Design Helsinki. The most important objectives of Aalto University are to develop and cultivate the passion-based, student centric learning culture, as well as the quality of research and education. The three factories, spearhead projects of Aalto University Media, Service and Design factories are serving as experimental platforms, showrooms and sources of inspiration for all the parties involved. Design Factory project develops and maintains the 3000 square meter house and offers its services for Aalto University courses, research projects and industry partners. Design Factory is in essence a place where students, teachers, researchers and industry partners can interact under the same roof. The place has its architecture and certain enabling and supporting technologies, but perhaps even more important are the soft issues philosophy, attitudes, and ways of working. The space is an experimental platform for education, research and application for interdisciplinary product design. The Factory premises are designed for interaction, lectures, seminars, workshops, team work and all kind of hands-on activities: prototyping, experiments, user tests etc. The users can flexibly have access to the spaces also besides the office hours. The rooms can be easily modified and rearranged for various set-ups for different purposes of use. To sum up, the mission of Design Factory is to develop creative ways of working, spatial solutions, and enhanced interdisciplinary interaction to support world-class product design in educational, research and practical application contexts. Design Factory hosts a number of courses, research projects and start-up companies, as well as some other co-operation projects: for instance the Factory is the facility for International Design Business Management programme, which is a joint teaching and research programme of the Aalto University School of Economics, the School of Art and Design and the School of Science and Technology. The students in the IDBM programme offer their knowledge in the form of industry projects. Lots of projects have been completed within the IDBM for leading Finnish companies. Each project is completed by teams of 3 to 5 students. The project topics have dealt with new product concepts (design and user interface issues), the definition of customer needs and the future environment of a product, the analysis of markets and customer feedback, and the examination of corporate identity, communications and design management, among other things. In the industry projects, the company involved is able to come into contact with young, innovative students and to obtain first-hand information on the most recent research and training in the field. During the course of the project, the company also has an opportunity to evaluate the students in view of possible future collaboration. Page 7

8 2.2. Key features of the good practice. (mitől innovative, mitől egyedi) The Design Factory is the symbiosis of the state-of-the-art conceptual thinking and crossdisciplinary hands-on doing. It leads a way towards a paradigm shift in education and business by providing a constantly developing collaboration environment for students, researchers and business practitioners. Therefore, it is an innovative environment for finding, incubating and realizing new ideas together with leading scholars, top future talent, and a mixture of other companies. Additionally, the Factory offers not only the ideal facilities and tools for different working modes and prototyping, but also a great deal of publicity through a steady flow of visitors and high profile events Base financing for the good practice. The Design Factory is operated by the Aalto University. Aalto University is a foundationbased university. Its funding is made up of state foundation principal, as well as donations from private persons, companies and other foundations. Students working on projects are also supported by companies Owner of the good practice. Aalto University : Background and prior references: is the good practice a spin-out? The Design Factory is the organic result of an earlier project named Future Lab of Product Design (FLPD). This initial project, kicked off in 2007, aimed at creating the most ideal working space and environment for product developers and researchers alike. The idea of Design Factory was invented in a workshop in June 2007, where a number of people from Aalto partners were introducing their dreams and developing their vision for the emerging innovation university. The Ministry of Education directed some complementary financing for preparation of the Aalto University, and Design Factory was chosen for one of the spearhead projects to be developed with that money. The vision was actualized in early autumn 2008, and the most of the Future Lab ideas were transferred to the new Design Factory during summer and fall Maturity of the good practice. Design Factory is an experimental platform of Aalto University, started in October The Factory is a constantly developing physical, social and mental environment, aiming to support interdisciplinary and international co-operation between parties interested in design and development Sustainability of the good practice. Page 8

9 Design Factory is continuously looking for new partnerships and co-operation with all Aalto teachers, courses, students and other parties. Companies affiliated closely with the Design Factory include supporting partners, Aalto University start-ups and venture acceleration. All partners are committed to continuous development of the Factory as well as open innovation policy. Page 9

10 3. Good Practice Analysis 3.1. Criteria used to evaluate the Good Practice and main success factors. The practical evaluation of the good practice is how many new projects can be generated by companies Good Practice Results and impact indicators. Since 1995, 150 projects have been completed as part of the IDBM Program. During this time, over a hundred companies have participated as sponsor partners; out of which numerous companies have participated more than once due to the positive feedback of the project outcome. Up to date, 680 students from design, business and technology have participated to the program creating an extensive alumni network Level of importance for Good Practice s success of (1-5 scale, 1 = low...5 = Very high) Please rate the level of importance of the following elements in their contribution to the success of the good practice. Element Building a partnership Ensuring contribution from the private sector Placing the project into wider policy context Ensuring political support Planning and formulating a proposal Administrative management Externalising management of activities Private financial resources Public financial resources Page 10

11 Addressing a clear need/demand Filling a gap in the innovation infrastructure 3.4. Stakeholders involvement - Description of Stakeholders involved: Companies play a crucial role because they initiate the projects students working on. Professors (university staff) are rather coaches than lecturers, and even students have to have a self-driven motivation to take part in the programme and projects since there is no timetable and courses must be performed. The success of this concept depends on the intensity of cooperation among stakeholders. - Stakeholders who participated in the design of the good practice and level of involvement during planning stage: Stakeholder Regional public authority Regional agency Knowledge Institutes Companies Business networks National public authority National agency Other: students - Actors who participated in the implementation of the good practice and level of involvement during implementation stage: Regional public authority Regional agency Knowledge Institutes Companies Business networks National public authority National agency Other: Regional body governed by public law Page 11

12 4. Lessons Learnt 4.1. Lessons Learnt: Things you would do differently if you were to start again. This good practice is an ongoing development process, but so far it has turned out successful. It s already spreading around the world as the Aalto-Tongji Design Factory in Shanghai was opened in May Page 12

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