Technology Innovation Management News

8 10, 2014

[Participate!] HYVE Engineering Contest (Clutches / Combustion Engines)

By | 2018-06-14T06:33:15+00:00 Oktober 8th, 2014|Allgemein|


Munich based open innovation specialist HYVE has launched a new contest, this time all about clutches and combustion engines. The specific question is:

An internal combustion engine (ICE) can be started by an electric machine. This procedure is determined as a tow-start and is used in many forms in today’s powertrains. The coordination of e-machine, clutch and ICE is challenging. A quick and smooth start has to be ensured.

With the Engineering Contest, HYVE wants to probe the causes and generate new, innovative ideas for clutch systems connecting electrical machines and ICE. How can clutch systems be designed to guarantee a smooth interplay between electric machine and internal combustion engine over a defined lifetime?

Everybody who has ideas to solve this challenge is invited to submit them at and take a chance to win great prizes. Deadline is November 26th!

Good luck and happy engineering!

6 10, 2014

Unser neuer BWL MOOC startet bald!

By | 2018-05-07T15:17:52+00:00 Oktober 6th, 2014|Allgemein @de|

Wie schon im vergangenen Jahr wird es auch 2014 wieder die komplette Vorlesung „Einführung in die BWL“ (Prof. Piller, RWTH) als komplett kostenlosen MOOC auf geben. In diesem Wintersemester wird ebenfalls der Kurs „Internes Rechnungswesen und Buchführung“ (Prof. Letmathe, RWTH) angeboten. Somit können zwei der wichtigsten Grundlagenfächer im vollen Umfang per Video angesehen und gelernt werden.

Ebenfalls gibt es wieder das Angebot, auch als nicht-Student eine Klausur in Aachen zu schreiben und eine entsprechende Bescheinigung inklusive Ausweis der ECTS-Credits zu erhalten, die dem Workload der jweiligen Vorlesung entsprechen. Diese können an vielen Hochschulen für ein Studium angerechnet werden*. Um möglichst vielen Teilnehmern Zugang zu dieser Option zu ermöglichen, gibt es in diesem Jahr spezielle Angebote für Schüler und Auszubildende.

Viele weitere Informationen sowie Video-Einblicke in die Kurse gibt es ab sofort unter

Wir freuen uns auf viele Teilnehmer und interessanten Austausch auf der Plattform!


*Ob eine ECTS-Bescheinigung akzeptiert und angerechnet wird liegt allein im Ermessen der jeweiligen Hochschule.

6 10, 2014

The Dark Side of DIY Manufacturing

By | 2018-06-14T06:33:18+00:00 Oktober 6th, 2014|Allgemein @de|

Original image from

Original image from

3D-Printing (Additive Manufacturing) is a really trending technology that can and likely will have a major influence on the future of industrial production (and business models) as well as chances to DIY produce goods that previously had to be ordered at a high price from local crafters (like your favorite italian restaurant).

However, with that really bright future and the perspective to make another Star Trek dream a reality (the replicator), there comes a downside: You can not only print spare parts to repair your broken laundry machine but also such objects that should probably be more regulated.

Amongst them are firearms of all kinds. To those that monitor the 3D-Printing scene Cody Wilson’s 3D printed guns are old – although still worrying – news. However, now the man has gone one step further, offering a specially designed CNC mill that can produce the most critical part of a modern assault rifle, called the lower reciver. It is also the most regulated part, for a good reason. The Verge has the full story but from that alone it becomes aparent that with the new technologies that are becoming available for private households, new problems will arise alongside the many new chances.

15 09, 2014

[Participate!] „Open Education Lab“ Launched by U of Innsbruck, Invites You to Participate

By | 2018-06-14T06:33:25+00:00 September 15th, 2014|Allgemein|

Open Education Lab” is a discussion platform designed within the scope of an academic project by Prof. Johann Füller at the University of Innsbruck, investigating novel approaches and concepts in the field of open education in an open-minded way. The research study discusses common questions about open education, mainly based on a broad analysis of the concept of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Furthermore, the project aims to gain new insights on the development of innovative educational developments also within the industrial sector.

Together with his team, Prof. Füller performed a broad market research and installed the discussion platform to gather opinions from Key Opinion Leaders in the field concerning three main topics (the following content is quoted from the discussion platform If you are interested in discussing with other experts please write an email to and you will get your personal account information.


1. MOOCS – Hype or stable trend? Technologies & Development


Bild Topic1MOOCs comprise the possibility to reach learners all around the globe. Users can learn „www“ – wherever, whenever and whatever, the spectrum of courses offered is immense. Topics ranging from the natural sciences over managing trainings to yoga classes are thought for free. However, high quality education might not always be ensured. We would like to propose potential weaknesses of instantaneously offered MOOCs and likely challenges for the successful implementation of MOOCs in the industrial educational landscape.
Informal Learning
Every strength comes with a weakness! Although MOOCs provide the user with freedom of choice regarding subject, schedule and quantity of content, in order to successfully complete a course a high degree of self-organization, self-discipline and time management is demanded from the learner. High drop-put rates are the result.


Technical Qualification
In order to produce a MOOC, certain technical qualifications need to be mastered by the producing institution and the lecturing speaker. Although general guidelines can be found on the web, a control for quality is rarely offered. Technical training and mediation of media competence are strongly recommendable.

Active engagement in the community is observed only in 10% of users. Interactivity, social integration, discussions and self-presentation are characteristics of traditional learning forms which are not adequately transferred to the MOOC landscape yet. However, peer-to-peer mentoring and collective thinking might produce the most creative results and intellectual approaches.

Learners might be interested in an official certification of qualification they obtained by completing courses. Accreditation from an acknowledged educational institution therefore represents a reasonable demand towards MOOC providers. Thus, cooperation with universities, (vocational) schools and other accreditation institutes should be of high interest also for MOOC suppliers in the industrial sector.

Mentoring and Guidance
Be it virtual or in-person: most learners appreciate some form of guidance during their educational training. MOOC providers rarely offer such support. One could imagine that the former traditional teacher might take the part of a mentor or content guide. Also guidance in form of an artificially intelligent coach might constitute an alternative. The community, on the other hand, could constitute a place for consultancy and support.

In the traditional sense, openness with regard to education comprises characteristics such as open access to the content, open source software for the usage of the content, open educational resources (textbooks, applications, journals,…), open learning (flexibility, individualization) and open data (re-using, sharing). Are MOOCs truly as “open” as they are claimed to be?

Blended Learning
Mere online learning might not constitute the exclusive solution for most efficient and long-lasting learning success. The combination with an offline component, for example in form of presence seminars, discussion groups, group-work or hands-on training might help the learner to transfer the learned knowledge to “the real world”. Problem-solving tasks, training setups and working groups might therefore constitute essential tools in addition to the online presented content for the manifestation of the MOOC concept for education also within industry setting. Especially technical professions might benefit from such a blended learning form that combines online and offline elements.


2. MOOCs’ Strengths and Weaknesses: Challenges for the successful implementation in an educational institution


The Gartner Hype Cycle

The Gartner Hype Cycle


Examining the development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on the hype cycle (A), we might derive that MOOCs stand at the through of their hype development. Consequently, in the very near future, a stable trend will likely dissociate from the unsteady hype. Similarly, the steady increase in user numbers of the main MOOC providers (B) suggests that the status quo is settling on the top of the hill, with user numbers ranging up to 10 million.

Technological Trends

Various technological trends and developments will strongly influence teaching, learning and the ways of communication between learners and educators. The inspection of these technologies on the hype cycle (C) allows for the differentiation between rather new and highly modifiable from steadily established tools. For the purpose of this study, we are interested which technological trends will permanently be incorporated in educational processes.


3. MOOCs spreading over the Educational Landscape – Does the dual education system have a need for MOOCs?


The (German) Education System - a classification

The (German) Education System – a classification

Within the scope of our study we were interested to examine existing MOOC providers for their target groups within the educational landscape in Germany. Therefore we categorized the following educational sectors (A):

1) secondary schools until 9th grade

2) secondary schools until 13th grade

3) Universities and technical colleges

4) Dual education system (vocational training schools)

5) Advanced training
Additional non-educational groups included:

6) Business companies

7) Socially and globally disadvantaged groups


Immense supply for universities – lack of offerings for the dual education system?
By categorizing the main existing MOOC providers into the described sectors and groups (B), we observed a plethora of suppliers serving the target groups of universities (60% of the analyzed providers, C) and also advanced training in general (45% of the analyzed providers, C). However, vocational training school and the secondary educational system seem not to constitute a significant target group for MOOC providers (only 5% of the analyzed providers, C).


Want to share your thoughts on the (open) future of education and learning? Hope to see you at!

5 08, 2014

TIME Research Area at HBS Open & User Innovation Workshop 2014

By | 2018-06-14T06:33:28+00:00 August 5th, 2014|Allgemein @de|

foto4Summertime in Aachen, Germany. That means fairly volatile weather to say the least, fast switching between blistering hot days and horrific thunderstorms. Blessings of global warming.

Fortunately, there are other, less chameleonic places in the world. One of them, Boston, MA, was the place to be for open and user innovation researchers over the past days, anyways. Here, the leading conference about all aspects of innovating with externals in general and users in particular took place once again: The 12th Open and User Innovation Workshop (OUI) at Harvard Business School.

Ranging from Open Innovation, Open Source and Lead Users to Diffusion, User Innovation in Healthcare and the hot topic of Additive Manufacturing, tracks covered the entire range of modern open / user innovation research. And, as always and just like a big family reunion, the OUI brought together all those brilliant colleagues from universities around the world that one would love to discuss with on a more regular basis. A full list of tracks, topics and presenters can be found here (LINK).

Our group was also honored to contribute and present some of our latest research, including:

Beyond Pricing Decisions: Business Model Innovation in the Two Sided Market of an Open Innovation Intermediary (Andy Zynga, Dirk Lüttgens, Frank T. Piller)

Solve, Buy or Broadcast Search? An Empirical Investigation of R&D Managers‘ Governance Choices for Problem Solving (Christoph Ihl, Dirk Lüttgens)

Opening the Black Box of „Not-Invented-Here“: Attitudes, Decision Biases, and Behavioral Consequences (David Antons, Frank T. Piller)

User driven innovation in electromobility: Applying netnography to identify leading edge users in a high-tech environment (Patrick Pollok, Dirk Lüttgens, Frank T. Piller)

Organizing collaboration: The costs of innovative search (Kathleen Diener, Dirk Lüttgens, Frank T. Piller)

A full list of all presentations and their abstracts can be found here (LINK)

A tweet says more than thousand words. In this sentiment here is a collection of what has been tweeted by various attendants during these three days in Boston, including a lot of pictures that really transport the great atmosphere of this excellent event.

And, last but most certainly not least, we want to say a heartfelt “thank you!” to those who excelled in organizing and hosting the OUI, once more: Carliss Baldwin (HBS), Karim Lakhani (HBS), Stefan Thomke (HBS), Eric von Hippel (MIT), Benjamin Mako Hill (University of Washington) and their entire team. It has been a great time!

More information about the Open User Innovation Workshop 2014 can be obtained from the official website at

Also see this great blogpost by colleague Joel West for another view on the OUI2014![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

14 07, 2014

Research in 3D printing innovation

By | 2018-06-14T06:33:31+00:00 Juli 14th, 2014|Allgemein @de|

The following is a repost of an excellent summary of our recent academic workshop on 3D printing, written by Prof. Joel West (KGI) and originally published on the Open Innovation Blog.

Frank-3DP-croppedOn Tuesday, Frank Piller and I hosted a successful workshop on 3D printing at RWTH Aachen. About 30 people attended the workshop: half from RWTH Aachen, the rest from other academic venues and a few from industry.

In many ways, 3D printing research reminds me of open source software research in 2001 or 2002. Frank says there is an explosion of research on 3D printing (i.e. more like OSS in 2005): I’m guessing this is concentrated in Europe because I’m not seeing it in the US. (But then, some of the early OSS research was phenomenon-based, which tends not to count much in U.S. business schools).

We had a deep dive into the science with Reinhart Poprawe, who’s both managing director of the Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT and a professor at RWTH Aachen. With the rise of RepRap, MakerBot and other consumer technologies, most of us are familiar with the plastic (mostly FDM) 3D printing, but his focus is the high-quality, high-speed production of metal parts for industrial uses — which are the future of 3D printing as a manufacturing technique.

Joel-3DP-croppedAs an economic historian, I gave an overview of the first 30 years of 3D printing, outlining the path from the industrial prototyping companies of the 1980s (notably 3D Systems and Stratasys) through to the dozens of consumer-focused startups of this century. I noted three trends fueling the latter movement: the “maker” movement, open design communities and the expiration of a key patent. (Alas, I gave the talk in casual clothes, without benefit of the suitcase that AirBerlin delivered 24 hours after I arrived in Aachen.)

The RWTH Aachen business school (Frank) and the Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing (Simon Ford) summarized their respective research agendas. Not surprisingly, Frank’s group is interested in mass customization while Cambridge is using UK money “to examine the reality and the potential of digital fabrication for the UK economy.”

Thierry Rayna described how 3D printing is changing business model innovation, while Letizia Mortara talked about classifying 73 different maker spaces into 13 categories. Christian Weller of RWTH described experiments of allowing consumers to customize products and how they felt about their willingness to pay.

In our debrief, I noted the need to build a community of researchers that (as with the early days of OSS) read and build upon each other’s work. We don’t (or won’t) have a management journal, but there are several conferences. The best is Frank’s track on “Open Innovation and Additive Manufacturing” at the annual (von Hippel) Open and User Innovation Conference (where I hope to present). In June 2016, the Cambridge IfM group will be hosting the R&D Management Conference, so that’s another natural fit.

European OI researchers have also been fond of the annual ISPIM conference: the program for next week’s conference in Dublin mentions “open innovation,” including a plenary session on OI led by Wim Vanhaverbeke and a talk by Wim on the forthcoming New Frontiers in Open Innovation (Oxford, 2014). While 3D printing and additive manufacturing are nowhere mentioned at this year’s conference, there’s always next year.

Originally posted by Joel West on the Open Innovation Blog

11 07, 2014

Recommended Read: Blog by Professor Hans-Gerd Servatius

By | 2018-06-14T06:33:33+00:00 Juli 11th, 2014|Allgemein|

competivation_blogFor anybody interested in deeper insights into innovation management, leadership for innovation and more, there is now an additional source available. My colleague and partner at Competivation, Professor Hand-Gerd Servatius has started to share some of his knowledge based on over thirty years of professional consulting experience.

His posts are in German language but if you are able to read German (or use google translator), you can find a lot of quality information over at:

17 02, 2014

Impressions from the MCPC 2014 in Aalborg!

By | 2018-06-14T06:33:36+00:00 Februar 17th, 2014|Customization Trends, Events, MC/OI on the Web, MCPC2014|

The past week were a highlight for every mass customization enthusiast as our colleagues from Aalborg University hosted this year’s edition of the MCPC Conference. We were there, of course, and, as always, a lot of tweeting and image-sharing took place. We will post more about some hot topics of the conference within the next days. Until then, here are some great impressions and voices from attendees some of you might recognize…




22 11, 2013

By | 2018-06-14T06:33:41+00:00 November 22nd, 2013|Events|

MCPC bannerWorld Conference on Mass Customization, Personalization, and Co-Creation Aalborg, Denmark February 4 – 7, 2014

News from the organizing team of the MCPC 2014 in Aalborg: Please observe that there is a deadline on November 29th for early registration to reduced price 500€ compared to full price 600€. At the conference web site, you will find the registration page with link to online registration.

The planning of the conference is currently going into further detail regarding keynote sessions, academic sessions, and industry sessions with demonstrations of successful business applications, practices, and insights. See the official website for further info.

Hope to see you in Aalborg in 2014!!

18 11, 2013

[Market Watch] 3D dataSculptures: Strategical Business Data for Your Desk

By | 2018-06-14T06:33:45+00:00 November 18th, 2013|MC/OI on the Web @de|

MeliesArt DemoThe market for 3d-printed goods has a lot of momentum these days. From the simplest of forms to entire houses and parts of space rockets and, unfortunately, even working guns, there appears to be few things that eager engineers can not print – or will not be able to print within the next years. One such thing that, intuitively, is hard to imagine as a physical object is business data. 

However, German company MeliesArt from Duesseldorf is offering exactly that: 3d-printed business data, figures, numbers, in colored plastic or even silver-plated for the extra-positive revenue development "chart". In a way these sculptures are, besides nice to look at, another example of innovative mass customized products.

For some nice images and more details please see the official press release (in German language) or the following video:



18 11, 2013

[Participate!] E-Commerce Forum 2020 in Athens

By | 2018-06-14T06:33:49+00:00 November 18th, 2013|Events|

E-Commerce2020_PaulBlazekOn November 21st & 22nd 2013 the “E-Commerce Forum 2020”  in Athens will bring together entrepreneurs, pioneers and innovators to discuss e-commerce trends and to learn from experienced international speakers.

Under the patronage of seven institutions, the event is organized by Directions Publications S.A. and, the leading blog for e-commerce in the Greek market.

The conference focusses on different trends in e-commerce that range from shopping clubs to new dialogue channels.

And mass customization will play an important role too. Paul Blazek, CEO of cyLEDGE Media  – one of the leading agencies dealing with customization – will give some new insights in his keynote “Mass Customization – Creating Customer Value in E-Commerce” about how the integration of customers and their individual preferences can push the perceived value of products.

And Michael Bruck, CEO of Chocri, will talk about customizing chocolate and Coca-Cola.

The conference is addressed to everyone who has a passion for electronic commerce and innovation, to entrepreneurs of traditional trade and established brands.

Tickets for both days are still available here!

7 11, 2013

New Book Co-Authored by Prof. Piller: Discontinuous Innovation – Learning to Manage the Unexpected

By | 2018-06-14T06:33:52+00:00 November 7th, 2013|Books|

P803.cover"Discontinuou Innovation", authored by Peter Augsdörfer (Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt, Germany), John Bessant (University of Exeter, UK), Kathrin Möslein (Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany), Bettina von Stamm (Innovation Leadership Forum, UK) and Frank Piller (RWTH Aachen University, Germany) is based on the findings, issues and questions related to an ongoing decade-old research project named the Innovation Lab. The research project focuses on discontinuous innovation in more than thirteen countries, most of which are European, and provides useful insights into its different challenges.

It also raises several questions related to the subject, some of which are: how do firms pick up weak signals on emerging — and possibly radically different — innovation? What should firms do when these weak signals hit their “mainstream” process? What are the criteria for allocating resources to a strategic innovation project? What actions should firms take to avoid being left out by the “corporate immune system”? How should firms organize projects that often break existing rules and require new rules to be created?

This book attempts to provide answers to the above mentioned questions by gathering information from the research project and also from firms that have tried exploring various ideas, models and insights to tackle discontinuous innovation. Written in a simple and accessible manner, this book will be of interest to both practitioners and academics alike.

You can find an extensive sample chapter on the official website!


  • Learning in the Discontinuous Innovation Laboratory
  • Radical, Discontinuous and Disruptive Innovation — What's the Difference?
  • Part I:
    • Looking Beyond the Lamp-Post
    • Ambidexterity in the Search Phase of the Innovation Process
    • Unpacking Exploratory Innovation: Search Practices, Organizational Context and Performance
    • Organizing Discontinuous Innovation at Established SMEs
    • Discontinuous Innovation Search for SMEs and Large Organisations
    • The BMW Group Co-Creation Lab: From Co-Creation Projects to Programmes
    • Strengthening the Role of the Users
  • Part II:
    • Netnography in the Food Industry
    • Selection Strategies for Discontinuous Innovation
    • Selecting Discontinuous Innovation in Practice
    • Innovation Buy-In at Schneider Electric: The KIBIS Method
  • Part III:
    • Implementing Discontinuous Innovation
    • Strategic Flexibility, Culture and Measurement as Organisational Enablers
    • Coloplast: Fixing Broken Hearts?
    • Implementing Discontinuous Innovation within Philips Lighting
    • Fighting the Unknown — With Business Design
    • Center of Excellence: One Way to Implement Discontinuous Innovation
    • Munich Airport: The Success Story of InfoGate

    5 09, 2013

    Frank Mini-Me Piller: Get Yourself 3D-Printed, Keep Your Young Self Forever

    By | 2018-06-14T06:33:55+00:00 September 5th, 2013|3D Printing, Cases-Consumer, Customization Trends, Design, Fabbing, Technologies & Enablers, Virtual Models|

    Doob 3d printing
    has developed far beyond a trend by now. Potential applications are manifold, ranging from medical gear to entire houses. And now you can even have a detailed replica of yourself printed in a variety of sizes, a kind of 3D printed Mini-Me, to give it away to your friends or just place on your shelve to keep a memory of your young, energetic self for the decades to come.

    In Germany, there are several companies offering this service. I used Doob, or Deep End Productions, located in Duesseldorf, Germany. Founded by Vladimir Puhalac and Torsten Bernasco Lisboa, the companys offers 3D photographs to everyone. While standard sizes go from 15 to 30 coms, you can also get a lifesize figure (for 15K Euro onwards, the 30cm version go for about 300 Euros).

    All you have to do is to show up in their studio and be photographed from all sides, simultaniously, by a 50 cameras (this process is called Photogrammetry"). These pictures than are transferred into a 3D model, which then is hand-modelled into the final 3D file. This file then is placed on a standard 3D systems prototyoing machine that can print in full color.

    The founders are coming from the medical field and have a strong background in 3d modelling. Their first company is providing replicas of ears, noses, and breasts to unfortunate patients who lost these bodyparts. With this background, they discovered the stereo litography, and developed a quite efficient procedure to develop your "doppelgänger". After the photograph, a 3D model is created that then is manually prepared for the final print. While the later procedure takes about 2 hours, I believe it can be brought down.

    They now opened a first store in Duesseldorf, but plan to enter the US and Japanese market, too, within the next months.

    The result is really stunning, and while I belive that in general people like to see themselves, it really is a great feeling to have yourself as a mini-figure. But also everyone else found this really cool.

    This is why I believe that this kind of 3D printing service may become the killer application that makes 3D printing a mainstream business application:

    • Established market. Our parents all used to go once every few years to a professional photographer for a family picture. While this market has almost disappeared, this 3D printing service may foster its revival.
    • Fast. The print is based on a photograph, not a 3D scan. This means you can also have a child, dog, or something similar quickly moving on your arm.
    • The quality is really stunning. You can see the pattern of your t-shirt or even your tatoo perfectly (I almost feel sorry that I did not have a tatoo to be printed on my figure).
    • Prices will go down rapidely. While the current price of 200-300 Euros is quite high, there is plenty of room for adjustments (I estimate that material costs are below 10 Euro).
    • There are many more options for business model innovation: You and your favorite soccer star in one print; you and your baby belly (very popular with German moms to be); the partners of a law firm greeting their clients on the reception desk, you holding a poster and a bunch of flowers proposing to your wife to be, …
    • Local production: While delivery in the moment takes a couple a weeks and is done in a central facility, production can be brought down to a couple of hours, opening an entire new market in malls and amusement parks.

    So when you have the chance and like to experience a reall fun application of 3D printing, then get your doob, too.

    Update: Here are some other posts about this technology and the picture taking:

    Captured Dimensions and Twinkind (similar services)

    – Report about COKE Israel advertising campaign featuring Mini-figures


    4 09, 2013

    Berkeley-Fraunhofer Study on Open Innovation

    By | 2018-06-14T06:33:58+00:00 September 4th, 2013|Open/User Innovation @de|

    Oi-studyOur collegues of Fraunhofer IAO and University of Berkeley (Henry Chesbrough and sabine Brunswicker) have surveyed large firms in the US and in Europe about whether or not they actually practice open innovation. The results are very interesting. Here are some key findings:

    • Among companies with sales larger than $250 million annually, 78% practice open innovation
    • Among those companies, 71% report that top management support for these activities are growing
    • 82% of firms report that open innovation is more actively practiced now, compared to three years ago
    • None of the companies in the survey have abandoned open innovation as of now.

    For the full report as well as many additonal details please visit the official website at Fraunhofer IAO.