Content. Foreword 3. BTH/BTH Innovation Experimenting towards increased utilization 17. HKR/Krinova Co-creative challenge driven innovation 5

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1 Final report 2014

2 Content Foreword 3 HKR/Krinova Co-creative challenge driven innovation 5 SLU/Alnarp Innovation The Innovation Model Origo 9 MaH/MEDEA Prototyping the Future 13 BTH/BTH Innovation Experimenting towards increased utilization 17 LU/LUIS The bridge between Academia and Industry 21 Conclusions 24 Contact 26 2

3 Foreword Open Arena 5 (OA5) was an EU-financed collaborative project between the five universities in the region of Scania Blekinge in Sweden: Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH), Kristianstad University (HKR), Malmö University (MaH), Lund Universitet (LU) and The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). The project started in a common initiative to develop and strengthen the role of higher education institutions and their contribution to the development of Scania Blekinge as one of the most innovative regions in Europe. The purpose of OA5 was to further develop the way the univeristies and industry work on innovations and contribute to the development of the existing innovation system. To constitute a platform where distribution effects from innovation methodology could reach a greater number of actors within and without the academic sector. The aim was to create improved opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators (ideators) to commercialize ideas, concepts and research results, thereby increasing regional growth. The OA5 core activity was to test and create new open and challenge driven innovation models and methods. This would not only increase the utilization of university based knowledge and research, but also increase the connections between existing innovation supporting actors and industries today active in Scania Blekinge. OA5 has functioned as a test bed with new tools for utilization. The project created new and challenge driven collaborations between companies, academia and the public sector. Entrepreneurs, scientists and customers worked together on tangible projects to create collaborative knowledge based solutions from the needs of companies and public agents within cross sectorial areas such as Food & Health, IT and Internet based solutions within e.g. energy, health, sustainable urban development and media, as well as green growth with various applications. Together these areas created new and increased opportunities to develop new innovation methods and models. The aim of the OA5 pilot projects was to find smart and effective means to carry out innovation processes, where knowledge is a key part of the solution to a challenge. The starting point of OA5 was the belief that the complex challenges of today s society imply a need for renewed collaborative efforts in innovation. Small countries such as Sweden, need comparatively more efficient innovation methods to maintain their competitive edge. 3

4 The roles of entrepreneurs and innovators are central and there is a need for iterative processes to put focus on needs and solutions in response to these challenges. OA5 focussed on two aspects of the innovation process: a. Improved conditions for innovators and entrepreneurs to move from idea to innovation. b. New working methods for collaborating on ideas and innovation interdisciplinary innovation arenas. The project launched a total of five pilot projects with different areas of focus regarding methods and working models starting in the respective needs and areas of expertise of the five universities. This had a positive influence on the content of OA5 and in an interesting way illuminated generic problems of current interest to several universities regardless of theme or methodology. The OA5 project was carried out using a bottom-up organizational structure which has engaged and motivated the participants, and facilitated the work. From an academic perspective, the OA5 project also treated the problem that scientists are not always able or willing to become entrepreneurs. All of the pilot projects focussed on the advantages of working in teams or collaborative processes with various competences and resources for commercializing results that research has or could have created in challenge driven projects. Each of the pilots clearly show a different model how this can be done in practice, the obstacles arising on the way, and what it may take to make it work. In this respect, OA5 has also strengthened and developed relations with other innovation actors in the region through dialgoue and participation in the pilots. OA5 has laid the foundation for the next step to systematize and render effective open innovation processes, where knowledge from the universities will be utilized in the regional innovation system in Scania Blekinge and thus strengthen regional innovation power. Anna Nitinidou OA5 Project leader LU Open Innovation Center Kristina Santén Extension Coordinator External Relations Alnarp, SLU 4

5 Kristianstad University/Krinova Incubator & Science Park Co-creative challenge driven innovation The pilot project efforts: To investigate how an open innovation arena, i.e. a proactive co-creator with effective methods and tools, should initiate and carry on a continuous flow of innovation projects based on challenges and how it can be organized and structured. From challenge to utilization for many. Open innovation and co-creation, are terms that are more and more often heard in media. They point towards a trend for more open business models and collaborations between companies. This is a new way of working that comes from the understanding that more people must be engaged in the development of ideas into innovations if we are to create sustainable growth. In this pilot we have created the theoretical framework, understanding and practical knowledge to make this possible. Our work is challenge driven and uses new effective means to handle the innovation process. Faster to target. The new global landscape of competition demands that small countries (such as Sweden and our regional areas) use more effective methods for innovation to main- tain their competitive edge. Knowledge alone is no longer enough. Knowledge must also be transformed into innovations in a faster and more efficient way, the logic of innovations has changed. Today, innovation rarely happens by a solitary inventor in a laboratory, instead it is characterized by several actors collaborating to solve the problems, challenges, in a joint effort. The role of entrepreneurs and innovators is crucial. Access to knowledge and a team becomes the foremost opportunity and means of competition. Collaboration between competences for success. Solutions to the more and more complex problems and needs of society are rarely created within a sector, but rather in the borderland between different sectors, competences and points of view. This entails further demands on how entrepreneurs collaborate in innovation. It also involves increased financial costs and risks to initiate and run innovation processes within new business areas in the land bordering ones own core activities, wether private entrepreneurs, scientists or companies. 5

6 Companies, scientists and society in joint effort. When society, academia and industry work together, completely new conditions for innovation through collaboration are realized. This creates the resources necessary for the utilization and commercialization in a cross sectorial collaboration in the blank fields that arise in the space between their core activities. Various expertise, disciplines, points of view and cultures are also included. Unique customer centered solutions can be achieved, at a shared cost and risk. In order to succeed in creating these new opportunities, we need to renew the working methods and collaborations we use today to run innovation activities. A need has been identified to more actively create conditions for utilization of research, through creating conditions for scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs, companies and clients to collaborate from challenge to innovation. Thus we can secure resource effectiveness, customer value, utlization and commercialization while also creating neutral collaborations between the innovation supporting actors in the region. Inclusion creates opportunities for more. The starting point for innovation and the organization of innovative processes in the pilot project was in agreement with neighbouring regional strategies: The European 2020-strategy as well as the new Innovation strategy in Sweden and the province of Scania. We created an open innovation arena in Northeastern Scania with a focus areas Food, Environment & Health. The model an ecosystem. The pilot made innovation simple and practical for anyone to carry out. This was accomplished through creating an understaning of and knowledge of the system, arena, processes, methods and tools. Co-creation a model of collaboration. In the model of innovation collaboration (below) we clarify the rules for collaborating in a three-step process. The model facilitates new collaborations to start and grow in a context where new partnerships are defined and evaluated before the commercial phase. The innovation process unique to every project. Each innovation project has its own inner logic and needs a unique, custom-made process where each step affects 6

7 the next, such as in action research. When does our work turn into an innovation project? What do we do and HOW do we do it before it becomes a project? CO-Learn (and CO-Design). A co-creating role is vital in the early steps of innovation. The pilot has gathered and tested methods and tools that have been applied to the different steps in the innovation projects. The pilot carried out in full or partly, a great number of innovation projects with actors from the industry, academia and public organizations in order to evaluate and test the model, innovation process and the methods and tools for individual steps in innovation. Methods and tools for each unique step in the innovation process can be divided into seven main categories: 1. Strategic methods 2. Risk assessment 3. Collecting insights internally 4. Collecting insights externally 5. Tools for idea generation 6. User participation 7. Concept/product development Results and effects of project activities. The immediate results for the actors involved cover a wide range from organizatorial insight about their own innovation possibilities, experience of using methods and tools, to organizational growth through the new products and services. Results from the innovation arena include that the actors, Kristianstad University and Krinova Incubator & Science Park, today have offers directed to industry, public services and academy (students and scientists) concerning innovative businesses, development projects and business design projects. Effects of the pilot work can be seen by the the industry and public organizations that actively seek out the development offers in the innovation arena. At the same time, these actors have shown a general increase in the understanding of the importance of innovations for their own development and that of society through the process of seeking out and creating cross sectorial collaborations where the innovation arena is involved as a co-designer (co-creator). The innovation arena is in an expansive phase to develop into a regional force for renewal and innovation. 7

8 Conditions for the next step. The innovation arena has already proceeded to the next step and fulfil its co-creative function in several dimensions on a dailty basis. Research projects, development projects for the industry, regional business development and strategic development for southern Sweden. The next step also involves expanding the capacity of delivery of the innovation arena, not only qualitatively but also in particular quantitatively. The development of a sustainable funding model (business model) and communication model together with Region Skåne, Skåne NordOst (local municipalities), RUTH (The Foundation for Regional development through Kristianstad University), Kristianstad University and Blekinge Institute of Technology is in progress with the aim to secure the delivery of qualitative and quantitatve growth. Torben Olsson Head of External Relations Business Development Manager HKR Innovation Charlotte Lorentz Hjorth VD/CEO Krinova Incubator & Science Park 8

9 The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SLU/Alnarp Innovation The Innovation Model Origo The pilot project efforts: What makes actors engaged and enable them to enter into an innovation process with the ability to carry out a project? How to shape an effective innovation model? The Innovation Model Origo focus on the needs of persons of crucial importance to include in innovation processes and that they participate actively in the project key participants. The Origo model is a unique, open and requirement based innovation model where user driven innovation and research based results meet on a common field. In the Origo model we chose to focus on three key actors in the innovation system: 1) the scientists, 2) the academic intrapreneur, and 3) the private companies/public sector. The aim was to develop an effective innovation model able to effectively manage risks, optimize time and optimize resources in processes in the existing innovation system. The goal was to increase the number, speed and survival of academic and research based innovations with user potential to reach the market and be utilized in society. The model was developed to help scientists by utilizing their discoveries while they, to a greater extent, will be able to continue focusing on research. It was also developed to meet the needs in industry for research results from universities as a source of innovations and product development. The Origo model further aims to increase the qualifications of PhD-students who have recently completed their degree and thereby increase their mobility on the labour market. Three main actors, three unique requirement lists. When faced with the challenge to chisel out the Origo model we started by making a map of the requirements of the three main actors. At Alnarp Innovation we felt that today s scientists increasingly choose not to take reasearch results that may have a commercial potential and/or could solve challenges in society, further to market for a variety of reasons. Some think that it would not promote their academic career, because of lack of time, lack of knowledge about the rules of the game in industry, a reluctance to take personal risks in a business of their own etc. Furthermore they themselves do not or other people do not consider them to have entrepreneurial driving forces. There are companies keenly interested in research results. The research results however, are often considered too far from commercial- 9

10 ization. In particular small and medium sized companies today lack the resources, knowledge or financial means to take the research results to commercial products on their own. Every year a number of PhD students complete their studies and choose not to continue within academia as scientists, but instead seek new challenges within the industry. Competition for employment is high and experience from the industry is a valuable qualification. In Sweden, there is a national need for more young academics to actively work within society and industry. The Origo model is a complement to existing innovation- and financing models for academic research results with a commerical potential. Most actors involved in innovation support, attached to universities and colleges, today focus on helping scientists to start their own company and incubators develop the business of start up research companies. To apply for a patent and start a company to license the patent rights is also comparatively common. This type of innovation support comes with certain risks and difficulties. There is the risk of draining the universities of successful scientists and that support cannot be granted to scientists who do not wish to start a company but do wish to utilize their results. Alternatively, an external entrepreneur may be hired to run the business and together with contributions from the innovation system, a team is built around the idea and the entrepreneur. Such entrepreneurs may be hard to find and match to ideas that engage them, prospective innovations based on research results often have a long and knowledge demanding route of development to market. The market may be completely new or mature with many competitors. The entrepreneur may not have the know-how of the scientist, which may lead to unrealizable development plans for the product. Scientists in turn, may be percieved 10

11 as difficult to collaborate with as they may not have the necessary knowledge of the market or experience of business development. The Origo model suggests an infrastructure and a working model to treat and reduce some of the obstacles in today s utilization of research results. The goal is to provide for the common interests of the three main actors. The infrastructure of the Origo model. The model has a structured team focus where an intermediary active in academia, in the model called an intrapreneur e.g. a young scientist who recently completed a doctoral degree, acts as a bearer of competence in a customized process team. The model has three unique elements designed to complement and simplify the flow as well as increase the survival rate of innovations from universities: The Intrapreneur secures the transfer of research results from originator to business actor/public actor and carries out research based product development. The independent teamleader has a specific role to support the development of the team by actively supporting the roles and functions of all of the team members. This is accomplished by consciously working with committment, communication, teamwork skills and by creating conditions for the team members to achieve set goals in joint effort. The project leader of the team is the business actor. The role of the business actor in the team is to work out the milestones/ product development steps based on the needs of the company and that are necessary in order to reach proof of concept. The steps consitute a phase of risk reduction to the company and provides information for desicions on further investment in resources to proceed/or not to proceed with the innovation after Origo to proof of development and market. The task of the team is thus to manage risks and product development of the research result to a finished product/service based on the needs of the business actor. In addition to the actors mentioned, the team consists of one or more scientists i.e. the originator(s) of the research result, a university linked business developer and when needed chosen external experts with special competences. 11

12 The Origo model shows the journey from research result to finished product, with an O for Origo in the centre (figure below). Needs-oriented product development begins on day one and continues during the entire process. To the left of Origo, the research results are in a position close to academia which enables a certain degree of continued openess such as the possibilty of academic publishing. This is a phase where legally binding contracts, licenses and claims are negotiated and decided upon. In this phase the milestones of the individual project until Origo are set down. That is the point in time when the industry will finance further product development. This is when the project proceeds from the left to the right of Origo, from research based to industry based, from openess to structured corporate processes. The intrapreneur is at the start of the project university affiliated with a project position and can, if desired, transfer to a business affiliated employment. Depending on the nature of the project and the individual ways and means of companies, Origo can be moved to the left if a company enters in an early phase. Origo is moved to the right if the project needs a longer time of development in academia. After Origo, the company takes over the financial responsibility in proof of development, product developoment and marketing. Kristina Santén Extension Coordinator External Relations Alnarp, SLU 12

13 Malmö University/MEDEA Prototyping the Future A way to connect abstractions to the market MEDEA is a research center at Malmö University with a focus on collaborative, digital media. The work at MEDEA is design oriented and built on co-production with external actors: companies, individual entrepreneurs, the public sector or various creators and artits. MEDEA started in 2009 and has since worked with over 150 different companies and organized external events with over visitors. The starting point of the projects is often challenge driven and applied research. Digital media a tool for societal change and development. Digital media has a more and more decisive role to play in social change. The progress in mobile technologies and the memory capacity of our mobile phones have changed mobile phones from a tool of communication to a personal dispatch central for digital communication as well as planning, service, security, localization, visualization, consumption and entertainment. With this development, the importance of the sector grows for other service- and production sectors in society, while at the same time the general importance of the sector for social change increases. The general development within the ICT-sector is very rapid and new business areas and applications are continuously developed. One example is the development within the Internet of Things, which is coming strong and defined as the new big field for the digital information society. In general, we move towards a future where most objects around us will be characterized as media. The vision of the company Ericsson is to have 50 billion connected units by the year 2020, thus leading to the development of a whole new marketing segment. Various marketing analyses have predicted that data usage will double yearly until 2015 and use 30 times more band width than voice communication. This is from the perspective that all possible manner of things that could be provided with digital technology will be connected to the Internet. In this context mobile phones will increasingly function as personal dispatch centrals to manage the com- 13

14 plex digital flow of information. A flow which in turn will generate completely new digitally based service solutions. There is thus a great need for research and development within this area. However, to proceed we also need better tools and processes than those established in existing innovation models. The challenge for this pilot project was how to utilize the competence of scientists in digital media/information- and communication technology (ICT) more efficiently and how to create processes and structures within higher academia to strengthen innovation impact within this area: How can we stimulate knowledge transfer from digital media/ict-scientists to entrepreneurs? How to move from conceptual ideas to proof-of-concept? How to set up meeting places between scientists and entrepreneurs? How is the question of IP-rights managed during the transfer from the scientist to the entrepreneur? How can we develop long-term innovation models where prototype development contributes to bringing relevant research ideas to the market? Realization. Within the framework of the project, we made an inventory of our digitally based services and what services could be of interest to promote from innovative concepts to substantially deepened prototype level with the specific goal of reaching proof-of-concept level. We began the process by scanning a number of relevant projects and finally chose to pursue three of these projects. Two of the projects were developed in collaboration with external entrepreneurs and one of the projects was based on the work of one of our PhD students. During the time period of the project, we have worked in collaboration with scientists and external experts to raise the different concepts to yet a higher level, performed advanced programming and relevant user tests to thereby be able to adjust and iterate the original design of the prototype. During this time, we have also developed the analysis of the business potential of the respective projects. Conclusions. Within the digital sector, there is a limitation in how much time that can be devoted to the project by the participating companies/entrepreneurs. The actors often consist of small companies with one or two employees and theses are under a lot of pressure to keep the business going. Therefore there is a limitation in the amount of time they can spend on a prototype development process. While there is a need to have the prototype reach a proof-of-concept level, one is also racing against time since there is a natural limitation in the amount of time that can be spent on the process. Thorough concept- and prototype development within ICT/digital media require tools from many different areas: design, project management, interaction design, graphic visualization, technical prototype competence (app- and mobile development), programming, game design, simulations, businessand marketing skills, methodology for user tests, teaching skills and learning theory. Scientists are competent within several of these areas, however as the structure for incentives within academia does not reward pure prototype development but has a focus on the publication of research papers, many scientists have neither the time nor the required competence for hands-on digital prototype development. Their competence must therefore be complemented by a team of 14

15 people who can manage the more practically oriented tasks such as project management, business development, programming and visualization. As the scientists and entrepreneurs often come from different cultural realities, the team has an important role as an interpreter between the world of academia and that of industry. We found that there is a need to bridge the cutural, practical and linguistic barriers between entrepreneurs, industrial experts and scientists. Many scientists have no interest in participating in short iterative processes with external parties. There is a concern among scientists for being handed the role of the consultant rather than that of the scientist. It is therefore important that the scientists who participate in projects have not been directed to do so, but participate out of their own interest and commitment. This commitment usually arises when the theme of a development project is of scientific relevance to the individual scientist. To circumvent the IP-problems that arise through the Swedish teacher exception laws, we also chose to integrate the scientists in short day based iterations where their role was guiding and mentoring rather than having the scientists become a part of the more longterm work of the development team, which had granted them the legal right to shared IP. This was shown to be a method which was appreciated by both the scientists and the entrepreneurs, according to our survey. The entrepreneurs appreciated that they could make use of what they themselves considered relevant. The scientists found that their part 15

16 in the process did not require too much time and commitment but the process was instead designed to be inspiring discussions that had an invigourating effect on their research. The processes should thus be carried out with a clear win-win perspective to the participating parties. In order to contribute to more effective innovation processes in academia, the incentive for scientists to participate in this type of innovation and collaboration processes should be strengthened. Scientists should be rewarded not only for scientific publications but also for collaborative and innovation commitment and impact. The forms of funding and exisiting innovation methodology are limited for this type of prototype based and mentoring knowledge transfer. There is a need for funding to develop rapid ICT-based ptototyping and verification at universities. It is also important that all actors in the innovation structures understand that innovation processes within service based ICT and digital media need a different kind of business development than for example innovation processes in life science. Within this sector, long development and verification processes are not useful because time to market is essential. Rapid processes demand a different innovation methodology built on concepts such as agile prototype development and fast failure! This further makes it clear that the need to develop methodology and competence for this type of market affiliated and challenge driven innovation. It also shows the need in academia for a stronger infrastructure in the form of a widened competence base, prototype labs and test beds. Resources of this kind hardly exist in Sweden Horizon 2020! Karin Johansson-Mex Managing Director of MEDEA Collaborative Media Initiative, Malmö University 16

17 Blekinge Institute of Technology/BTH Innovation Experimenting towards increased utilization The pilot project efforts: In the BTH pilot we have worked with a wide approach to investigate and to test new ways that research can be utilized and contribute to the development of society to a greater degree. A starting point in this work has been the view that utilization cannot be understood purely as a question of using research results as a basis for new businesses. It is of equal importance to highlight the competence and experience of the scientists and find new ways to use this in different development processes. According to the Swedish Higher Education Act, higher education institutions should ensure that benefit is derived from their research findings. This general statement inherently contains a number of problems primarily because according to Swedish law, it is not the higher education institution but the individual scientist who owns the results of the research within academia. It is the scientist who decides if and how to utilize the results, which commonly means the scientific publication of the results. The wording in the Higher Education Act signals a view on utilization that assumes an insider outsider perspective which does not sit well with the notions of open innovation, societal challenges and broadened utilization that characterize the current debate. An inventory of problems (see figure on the next page), served as a starting point for the efforts in the BTH pilot. The main approach was inductive, which in this context meant working with a set of cases, each different from the other, to create a basis for knowledge and experience that later could be generalized into new methods for utilization. In these cases we have tried to test new approaches while taking advantage of existing tools and relations to other innovation supporting actors (mostly in the region of Blekinge). Students as a resource for commercialization. Some of the cases we worked on started from the all too common situation where a scientist has chosen to end a process of commercialization that has already been set in motion. The scientist(s) in question have here, contrary to the general situation, made a first effort to translate their research to an idea that could be commercialized. However, despite this the scientists have chosen to dis- 17

18 continue the work. The reasons may vary, and are usually connected to the private working situation of the scientist(s) as well as a lack of time and other resources needed to continue the work. It is rarely because the scientist(s) have realized that the idea lacks commercial potential. In the cases we worked on, there was thus already a developed concept and in some cases a prototype, which was a necessary condition to bring in new actors to continue the work. In the majority of cases we engaged higher education level students to pursue the work of commercialization. The students functioned as an extra resource for developing the concepts and to investigate the conditions for their commercialization, while also creating contacts with possible customers and users. The results from the student work was reported back to the originators, as they did not want to completely give up control of their ideas to the students to develop in their own way. Although it is difficult to make any precise conclusions based on the few cases of this type that we worked on, it is clear that the conditions for the collaboration between the scientist(s) and student(s) and the division of IP-rights must be set down clearly in the early stages of the process. This is easier said than done since the respective parties tend to overestimate the importance of their own work in relation to the final results. However, it would be fair if the scientists gave the students the legal rights to continue the development work in their own way in exchange for a certain share of royalites in possible future sales profits, particularly as the concept otherwise would not be exploited. Although none of the cases have yet led to a developed concept reaching the market, we have found that the students gained valuable experience from the work of commercialization, which in general raised their interest in some day starting up a business of their own. In one case this has already happened and is considered a bonus. 18

19 A broker-role for commercialization. In one of the cases of this type, instead of working with students, we ourselves chose to take on the role of broker and by our own efforts try to find a business actor willing to take over the concept developed by the scientists. The complicating factor in this case was that the scientists themselves wanted to have the opportunity to participate as scientists in the continued process of commercialization. The business actors on the other hand wanted to have the freedom to make their own desicions and were therfore concerned about the continued participation of the scientists. However, these questions were resolved and the scientists chose to proceed with one of the companies that we had managed to interest in the concept. Product development and interaction design has started and two of the originators are in the process of starting a company that will function as a counterpart to the business actor. The scientists have a role in the continued development work in product development and have agreed to participate in the sales work towards county councils, the most important potential group of clients. Lessons from this case are mixed, although of course it is a plus that the ideas of the scientists now appear to reach the market. However, the journey has been long and costly and it is hardly justifiable to do this kind of work in all cases where there is a research based idea with market potential and a limited interest from scientists to take the risks involved in commercialization. However, the case showed that it is possible to interest companies in taking over tested and verified research based ideas for continued commercialization, provided that the demonstrated market potential is high enough to motivate the often considerable investments needed for product development and marketing. Before enticing a business actor to take over, considerable efforts are needed to identify and demonstrate the possible commercial potential. The question of who would be willing to take on the risks and efforts is in turn linked to how the legal rights to the idea and development work is divided between different parties. Once again we found that the scientists tended to overestimate the value of their idea, while the business actor on the other hand tended to overvalue the costs and risks at the expense of the original idea. In this situation a neutral intermediary could possibly facilitate an agreement. This is a role that higher education institutions could adopt. Research competences as a basis for utilization. In the second group of cases in our pilot, the aim of our efforts was to create different kinds of links between scientists and to create a ground for mutual learning. This was about trying to use the scientists research competences to fertilize and develop ideas from external actors (companies and private entrepreneurs) while at the the same time having the scientists exposed to the problems and conditions business actors struggle with which in turn could fertilize their research. In some of the cases we used students to fuction as an intermediary between business based ideas and research competences. The companies defined the problems linked to their product development, which were then managed by students with the support from scientists/teachers from BTH. In this way we could provide companies with advice and contacts to the scientists. The cases show that the way of using students as a bridge between the ideas from a company and relevant competences can be a way to fertilize and develop ideas originating outside of academia. 19

20 In another case we worked on a more direct approach to connect an external idea of a new product with the competences and experience of a group of chosen scientists. Here we used a method called Value Creation Forum, in short it involves the innovators who pitch their solution to the problem to the chosen scientists who, based on their experience, give their opinions and suggestions on how the idea could be developed. This method was shown to be successful and has led to the continued collaboration between the company and some of the scientists, who can confirm that these kinds of meetings could be of value also to their own research. We therefore plan to continue to offer external actors this kind of activity. Lessons learned. From the efforts of the BTH pilot project it is clear that the utilization of research can be broadened if, apart from stressing the importance of research results as a starting point for utilization, we also work with the competences and experience of the scientists. By bringing together scientists and customers, research based ideas can be verified in terms of commercial relevance. Meetings such as these can furthermore contribute to strengthening the relevance of research problems. The meeting between scientists and private entrepreneurs can contribute to suggestions that could help the entrepreneurs to develop and refine their ideas. We also investigated if and how we could use students as a kind of intermediary in close connection with the utilization of research. Experience shows that students can function as a resource to connect business actors with academic research. However, we found that having students participate in the development work of commercializing the ideas of individual scientists was less positive. There is an apparent risk that the efforts of the students are undervalued and that the scientists are unwillig to offer the students a share in the values created. The cases in the BTH pilot constitute a basis for a number of general findings that are important to manage and bridge. We have repeatedly come across the fact that academic research and commercialization follow their own inherent logic and are set in different kinds of cultures and languages. It is therefore essential in a closer collaboration that the actors on each side understand and are educated in managing these differences, a clear task for the innovation supporting units of higher education institutions. Furthermore it is obvious that research results are rarely ready for commercialization and considerable efforts are often needed to translate the research results into a starting point for commercialization. In this work, knowledge and experience from users, customers and business actors is needed. We also found that there is not one innovation process but several. Thus we have to work with different constellations of actors, resources and tools in each case. Achieving results is more about creating dynamic innovation collaborations than building fixed structures. Finally, the importance of so-called innovation champions cannot be understated. It is clear that someone with the energy and commitment to develop and further an idea to the market is needed! Persons such as these must be given clear conditions and have a direct share in what is created. Anders Nilsson Division Head, BTH Innovation Blekinge Institute of Technology 20

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