Technology Innovation Management News

4 09, 2013

Submit your speaking proposal for the MCPC 2014 NOW!

By | 2018-06-14T06:34:01+00:00 September 4th, 2013|Events @de, MCPC2014 @de|

MCPC2014_banner_cut There are hot news from our dear collegues at Aalborg University. Preparations for the MCPC 2014 Conference are going along and now you can start submitting your paper to the organizers, using the official submission system via Springer.

So, if you have some interesting research to contribute that fits into the conference's call for papers, follow the link and become part of a great event. Deadline for full paper submissions is September 15th 2013.

Best of luck and looking forward to meet you in Aalborg!

20 08, 2013

[Market Watch] New Project by Big Shot Bikes

By | 2018-06-14T06:34:04+00:00 August 20th, 2013|Allgemein @de|

Earlier this year we posted about Big Shot Bikes, a company selling customized single-gear bikes. Now Matt Peterson, CEO of Big Shot Bikes, has informed us about his brand new project. As part of a kickstarter campaign the company is looking for backers to add customizable dutch style cruiser bikes to their portfolio.

We find these to look pretty sweet on concept pictures and would love to see these become a reality. So if you are looking into a new cruiser bike, stop by on their kickstarter page to back them and secure your own very individual new ride.

29 07, 2013

[Recommended Source] Configurator Database 2013, a Comprehensive Market Overview by cyLEDGE

By | 2018-06-14T06:34:07+00:00 Juli 29th, 2013|Customization Trends @de, MC/OI on the Web @de, Personalization @de, Technologies & Enablers @de|

ConfiguratorDatabaseReport_Profile_Converse(1)A little while ago, Austrian media specialist cyLEDGE
has released a new market analysis about product configurators and mass
customization. The Configurator Database Report 2013 is a status quo analysis of 900 international web-based product

The Configurator Database ( was
opened in 2007 to give an overview about the world of product configuration.
Since then it has been constantly extended and updated and thus grew to the
largest collection of web-based customization tools. A lot of those entries
were also used for our mc500

Together with his team, Dr.
Paul Blazek, CEO of cyLEDGE Media has now published the Configurator Database
Report 2013, which contains information about all 900 mentioned configurators.
Every configurator is listed with a full profile, including a screenshot and an
evaluation of different criteria. Besides basic criteria like industry, product
type or country
, the report also contains data about visualization type,
tutorial, support and social media usage

“This report is the result of a long and
ongoing journey to understand the future of customer and company relationships
in the age of customized products and interactive communication”,
says Paul Blazek.

The detailed evaluation of all collected data gives very
interesting insights on the market of product configuration. A new approach is the examination of the
usage of social media in connection with configurators
. The analysis
shows that more than two thirds of all companies running a configurator have a
Facebook site and over the half uses Twitter
. It also shows how this number varies
according to different countries or industries. Nevertheless, when looking at
the intensity of the usage there are a lot of unexploited potentials.

The Configurator Database Report gives a very
extensive overview about the whole mass customization market. It is an excellent source to everyone who wants to start an own configurator business or wants to be informed
about the fast-moving world of configurators.

The paperback version of the report is available on For a preview and further details visit

17 07, 2013

[MCPC14] New Conference Details and Call for Papers

By | 2018-06-14T06:34:13+00:00 Juli 17th, 2013|MCPC2014 @de, Personalization @de|


The MCPC 2014 organizers at Aalborg University have released a great lot of additional information about the next iteration of the most successful conference.

The MCPC Conference engages academics, business leaders, and consultants to participate and become engaged in fundamental discussions through a set of plenary presentations, workshops, discussion panels, and paper presentations. Continuing our tradition, we invite contributions from a wide range of specialists.

MCPC 2014 is looking for contributions in cutting-edge research, as well as insightful advances in industrial practice in key areas and invites you to submit your best work, addressing the listed conference topics. Proceedings from the MCPC 2014 conference will be published through Springer.

Draft Program

4th February (Tuesday) – Welcome party (at 19:00)

5th February (Wednesday) – Conference day 1

  • Opening session
  • Keynote session
  • General parallel sessions
  • Conference dinner

6th February (Thursday) – Conference day 2

  • General parallel sessions
  • Keynote session
  • Future planning session (scientific committee)
  • Closing session
  • Farewell party

7th February (Friday) – Industry tour

  • Tour to an MC company
  • Young researchers night

 Important Dates

  • 2013 September 1st: Special session proposal
  • 2013 September 15th: Submission of full paper
  • 2013 November 1st: Review notification
  • 2013 November 17th: Submission of revised paper
  • 2013 November 29th: Early bird registration
  • 2014 February 1st: End of registration
  • 2014 February 4th-7th: Conference

If you are interested (or know anybody potentially interested) in submitting a paper to the MCPC 2014, please find a the full call for papers with all details by following this link

Click to Download MCPC2014 Call For Papers (PDF) ]!

We hope to see you at Aalorg in 2014 and will keep you updated on the latest developments and any important news on this channel!

16 07, 2013

[Interview] PUMA’s Head of eCommerce: Changes and Challenges of Customization in the Apparel Industry

By | 2018-06-14T06:34:17+00:00 Juli 16th, 2013|Cases-Consumer @de, Clothing @de, Customization Trends @de, Interview @de, Sneaker @de|

Our friends at embodee have recently conducted a very interesting interview with Thomas Davis, global head of e-commerce for PUMA. To share his views with you, embodee sent us the following guest post, with excerpts from the original interview, that we recommend for a number of interesting insights.  

Embodee, a company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, enables
apparel brands to display virtual samples for merchandising and
finished garments for customization. Its patented imaging
technology digitally scans, stitches, and drapes physical garments,
creating 3D virtual renderings true to reality in appearance, size, and
fit. The garments are viewable from any angle and easy to customize with
various design features.
Images of highly customizable garments for some of the
world's largest sports apparel brands are delivered online by Embodee's SaaS

Embodee: What are the most significant challenges for apparel
companies like PUMA in this omni-channel sales world? There’s certainly
a lot being written about it.


Davis: It depends on what kind of company you are.
I’ll boil it down to just PUMA and the wholesale channels because this
is a landscape of your retail and wholesale channels; and obviously your
wholesalers are partners and clients too. Secondly, the brand has to
decide what is the balance between sales and marketing. So it’s a
complicated dance to figure out, and there isn’t one right or wrong
answer. Further, how do you get these channels to work in concert while
still balancing the needs of marketing and brand? Making sure that all
of these business interests—everything—work together and complement each
other is much easier said than done.

don’t care or understand the internal conflicts. Nor should they.
Customers simply want what they want, which in our case is our product
and our brand experience. Customers don’t think in terms of business
units or channels. They think in terms of product and buying that
product as easily as possible.

Trying to find that multi-channel synergy is really, really hard
because traditional brands like a PUMA or anybody of this size that has
grown as a traditional wholesaler aren’t prepared for some of the
changes happening in the retail world. Some of the rules for the last 60
or 70 years are breaking down. And what took decades to establish is
now being broken down in months as the speed of the digital world is
accelerating. Example: Rocket Internet. They are basically copying the Zappos
model outside the U.S. and growing their business to billions in
revenue in just a year or two, which is x-fold faster than Zappos, which
was x-fold faster than traditional wholesale distribution. It’s
jaw-dropping how fast everything is evolving, especially outside the
U.S. What retail looks like in five or 10 years, who knows? But you’re
seeing examples of companies trying to find their way in this
marketplace. Some are doing well at it and some aren’t.

Embodee: Speaking of those challenges, how does your vision for e-commerce address them?

Davis: For PUMA specifically, we have to attack the
market in a very focused way because the reality of our situation is
that we can’t compete on price, meaning we can’t be the lowest price out
in the market. That’s just kind of cutting ourselves off at the knees.
Further, we don’t have the luxury of running a break-even business,
meaning we can’t put all of our operating expenses toward overnight
shipping and service. Yet, we are consistently compared to those digital
players. But that is the reality we live within, and we have to find
creative ways to be relevant.

So I try to look at where can we compete and compete effectively. One
is product content. I believe we must have world-class PUMA information
about our products (photography, copy, content, digital assets, etc.).
We also should have the most comprehensive, user-friendly experience for
shopping decision-making in the digital world.

We hope that our PUMA experience will be better than an Amazon’s “shop in shop
presentation for PUMA, and better than a Zappos, for example.
Specifically, as a retailer we don’t have much control over the
presentation of our products in our partners’ stores/marketplaces. We’re
losing brand control, if you will. Search Google for “puma suede
and you will see the varying degrees of photography/presentation. Some
good, some bad. Theoretically, we should be able to showcase our
products in our store in the best lens possible, and we will aim to do this over the next few seasons.

One of our key strategies is product information management. We’ve
spent a tremendous amount of effort and time over the last two years
honing these skills internally. Unfortunately, it’s generally a
behind-the-scenes kind of project. The only in-front-of-the scenes
result of that is really the output of a website and customers
interacting with that information.

But I believe that’s a cornerstone of our strategy. The other
cornerstone is product selection. If we’re selling the same exact
product as Amazon, and if they’re going to beat us on price and service
and be comparable on product information, then we’re still going to
lose. Probably nine times out of 10. But if we can create a product
assortment, develop product awareness, product depth—whether its size,
color or make of material—that’s different than what’s in the wholesale
channel—then we have an area for competition and a reason for customers
to come to our online store.

So between world class product content and offering a product
selection that’s different or at least complementary to what is in other
channels, that’s where we can play and immediately be competitive.

Embodee: How does mass customization fit in from your perspective?

Davis: When you start thinking about a diversified
product strategy in terms of more SKUs, more colors, and more options,
you start running into liability.
Meaning, you have to front load cash flow to pay for inventory/product
that might sit on shelves for weeks if not months before it’s purchased
and your return on the investments is recouped. It’s the long-tail game.
When you’re trying to keep your margins high and your turn ratios high,
it’s a very difficult one to balance. Creating lots of inventory that
sits on shelves all over the world is just basically money sitting there
that can’t be allocated toward other business-enhancing projects. The
turnaround time on product is probably a year lead time for some
companies. That’s a long time to tie up money, especially when there’s
no guarantee in the world of fashion.

You’re taking physical bets on what the trend or the style will be a
year from now, and who knows whether Jay-Z comes out with a new record,
Justin Timberlake does something, or Taylor Swift wears a pair of PUMAs
in her video. It’s serendipity to some extent (or really good product
placement—hah). So when I start thinking about those kinds of
constraints I start to look at on-demand products. What’s better than
being able to create something on demand and eliminate those upfront

To develop products, colors and/or styles that may mean nothing to
the customer a year from now, you end up with excess product. This is
what happened in 2008 when we hit the recession and companies were left
with shelves full of product which needed to be liquidated. The only way
to push that amount of excess product is to flood the market and
discount like crazy. That is not sustainable from a business
perspective. So I start to look at on-demand or mass customization as a
plausible solution for a company like PUMA, which answers a lot of our
financial challenges. But it allows the consumer to dictate freely what
he or she wants.

That’s liberating for a business owner and also creates desire from
consumers, which gives us a great competitive advantage—provided we do
something really cool for the brand, that’s PUMA-fied, that the
consumers love. I see that as a pinnacle piece of our strategy going
forward, and I think it will be so in the retail industry for years to
come. Look at the entrants into this new paradigm: Threadless, Zazzle, NIKEiD, miadidas, New Balance, Timberland, Converse,
etc. etc. The list grows every month. It’s happening in myriad
industries as well, so it’s not just limited to footwear and t-shirts.
More examples: Shutterfly,, L.L.Bean, the lists go on. Remember Dell Computers? Designing your own computer system was a breakthrough.

PUMA Factory

I’ll fully admit that PUMA is late to the game. We only recently launched PUMA Factory,
our first crack at online customization. Currently, it’s live for the
U.S. and Germany. We believe it’s still in “beta” stage, and over the
next few months we will determine if we’re on the right track
operationally as well as from a presentation point of view. The
opportunities are amazing if we get the block and tackling done.

People pay a premium for customization. They expect to have to wait
for it to be made, so the immediate gratification may not be there, but
it’s still quick and it’s individually driven. Dare I say, a younger
generation? They want to stand out, they want to be unique, and that’s
just in the U.S. Once you start going global with these ideas, your
ability to function with less risk—less cash flow volatility—it’s
potential, it’s plausible. It could be fantastic on so many levels for
the brand, like PUMA, as well as for the customer.

It still needs to be proven, but I think you’re seeing companies like
the NIKEiDs of the world going this way. I think you’re seeing the
Zazzles having done really well. Threadless. There are the big retailers
trying to do it like H&M or even Zara.
This is the way you can close that timeline to market. I think it’s the
future—part of the future—of retail at least. I think it has to be.

Embodee: You mentioned young people. They have an expectation
that they should be able to order on demand or customize because
they’ve grown up with that option in other arenas. Almost everything
they do is customized whether it’s music or pick your topic.

Davis: I completely agree. My nieces and nephews are
in their late teens and they’ve never known anything different, and
that’s only going to become more amplified globally. Their expectations
will include the ability to customize as a standard, not an exception.
It’s going to get to the point where everything is a showroom. You’re
seeing stores go out of business because they try to overstock. I think
they should be embracing the showroom aspect and let people customize.
“Here are three basic colors in the store, buy them if you want, but if
you want the new shiny toy—insert your product—in purple and chartreuse,
order it customized and we’ll have it for you next week.”

Ford Model T assembly line

The question is what companies are going to truly embrace that? If
you’re buying a year ahead, you can support putting product on a boat
and letting it ship from China to the U.S., and that takes six weeks.
That’s all gone when you go to this model, you’re just speeding up the
processing chain, but it is completely doable. This may be a reach, but Ford
was the first to create the assembly line for cars. This was a drastic
and radical step almost a 100 years ago. There is nothing stopping
retailers, like PUMA, from making a radical shift in the production
pipeline if it will not only solve a company’s cash/investment
challenges but (even more importantly) satisfy the customer’s want and

I think there is an old adage that says
something like, “The customer is always right…” This is truer now than
ever in the world of customization.

The original interview and a lot more about embodee can also be found at the embodee website!

15 07, 2013

[Featured Research] User Generated Brands and their Contribution to the Diffusion of User Innovations

By | 2018-06-14T06:34:20+00:00 Juli 15th, 2013|Co-creation, Design, Featured Research, Research Studies|

Continuing our mini-series on noteworthy research from around the world, today we feature new work by Johann Füller, Roland Schroll and Eric von Hippel who show that usersnot just are the source of most innovation, but also can create powerful brands

ResearchUser Generated  Brands and their Contribution to the Diffusion of User Innovations
, by Johann Füller, Roland Schroll, Eric von Hippel

Published in: Research Policy, Volume 42, Issues 6–7, July–August 2013, Pages 1197–1209

Available on:


(based on the abstract)

It has been argued that users can create innovations
and also diffuse them peer-to-peer independent of support or involvement
by producers
: that “user-only” innovation systems can exist. It is
known that users can be incented to innovate via benefits from in-house

But users’ incentives to invest in diffusion are much less clear:
benefits that others might obtain from their innovation can be largely or entirely an externality for user innovators.

course, effective distribution of information products can be done
near-costlessly via posting downloadable content – for example, software
– on the Internet. However, potential adopters must still learn about
the product and trust its qualities.

In producer systems, this aspect of
diffusion is heavily supported via the creation of trusted brands. It
has been shown that brands help to increase awareness, to communicate a
product's benefits, and to reduce perceived risks of adoption. The
development of brands by producers is traditionally seen as a very
costly exercise
– unlikely to be thought of as worthwhile by users who
expect little or no benefits from the diffusion of their innovations to

In this paper the authors explore the creation of a strong and trusted
brand by the Apache software community
– and find it was created
costlessly, as a side effect of normal community functioning. The authors think
the costless creation of strong brands is an option that is
generally available to user innovation communities. As they 
propose, it supports the existence of robust, user-only innovation systems by
helping to solve the problem of low-cost diffusion of trusted
user-developed innovations.

15 07, 2013

#OUI2013 Conference Summary in One Picture

By | 2018-06-14T06:34:24+00:00 Juli 15th, 2013|Featured Research, Open/User Innovation|

The OUI 2013 conference just started at the University of Brighton. Many of the core people from the community will be presenting their research here during the next three day.

While Joel West probably will cover the event much better than I do, here the entire conference in three graphs, as presented ny host Steve Flowers in the opening talk:

– Top and minor themes in the papers.

– Tags pro-duced from the titles

– The sociale network of topics


10 07, 2013

[Recommended Read] Leading Open innovation: New edited MIT book on co-creation and open innovation

By | 2018-06-14T06:46:51+00:00 Juli 10th, 2013|Books|

Today we are featuring one of the new volumens published by MIT Press. Leading Open Innovation gives the reader a comprehensive oversight of Open Innovation in its practical applicaton, with many examples and a lot of experience contributed by leading open innovation experts from academia and industry. Amongs all those, I was honored to contribute a chapter as well.

LeadingopeninnovationLeading Open Innovation
Anne Sigismund Huff, Kathrin M. Möslein, Ralf Reichwald (Editors)

Published at MIT Press

Vailable from


In today’s competitive globalized market, firms are increasingly reaching beyond conventional internal methods of research and development to use ideas developed through processes of open innovation (OI). Organizations including Siemens, Nokia, Wikipedia, Hyve, and innosabi may launch elaborate OI initiatives, actively seeking partners to help them innovate in specific areas. Individuals affiliated by common interests rather than institutional ties use OI to develop new products, services, and solutions to meet unmet needs.

Leading Open Innovation describes the ways that OI expands the space for innovation, describing a range of OI practices, participants, and trends. The contributors come from practice and academe, and reflect international, cross-sector, and transdisciplinary perspectives. They report on a variety of OI initiatives, offer theoretical frameworks, and consider new arenas for OI from manufacturing to education.

Nizar Abdelkafi, John Bessant, Yves Doz, Johann Füller, Lynda Gratton, Rudolf Gröger, Julia Hautz, Anne Sigismund Huff, Katja Hutter, Christoph Ihl, Thomas Lackner, Karim R. Lakhani, Kathrin M. Möslein, Anne-Katrin Neyer, Frank Piller, Ralf Reichwald, Mitchell M. Tseng, Catharina van Delden, Eric von Hippel, Bettina von Stamm, Andrei Villarroel, Nancy Wünderlich


8 07, 2013

Amoonic Continues to Excell in Custom Jewellery, Pulled In Huge Investment

By | 2018-06-14T06:46:54+00:00 Juli 8th, 2013|Cases-Industrial, Design, MC/OI on the Web, Personalization|

AmoonicLast year at pretty much this time we published an interview with Sabine Linz of Amoonic, a company offering customized jewellery from all price ranges online. Fortunately, Amoonic has not suffered the same fate that many startups do, making critical mistakes and disappearing after a short period of existance. In fact, Amoonic just announced that Business Angel Marlon Ikels, the man behind, has invested a six-digit amount into the future expansion of the company. You can download the official press release here (in German).

Sabine_linzThis gave us the opportunity to interview Sabine once again, asking about the development of the past year and the future of mass customized jewellery.

FTP: Sabine, it has been about a year since our last
interview about Amoonic. How have things developed since then?

SL: In the
meantime we broadened our designer product range by a huge variety of jewellery
pieces. In addition to that, the technology in the background was enhanced a
lot. For example an open configurator was added to simplify the customization process
for our customers. Another example is the new 3D product preview. We developed
some great cooperations within the jewellery online market. Besides we tested a
lot on our website and developed a new system for producing jewellery in a
digital way.

FTP: How do you see the market for mass customized
goods today?

SL: I think,
today mass customized goods are not simply a trend anymore, you can find them
everywhere and people love them. Customization is now a well-established
approach and customized goods have become more or less mainstream. People nowadays
expect to be able to customize their products.

FTP: Can you go into a bit of detail on what you
want to do with the huge investment you got? What are your plans?

SL: Since a lot
of work on the technology side was done over the last year we are in the lucky
position to be able to invest most of the money in Marketing. We like to see
Amoonìc expand more and more to be internationally known as soon as possible.

FTP: You mentioned that Amoonic now offers
individually crafted jewellery on request. Can you tell us which diamond dreams
you can make a reality?

SL: In
principle, everything is possible. Our motto is: “If you can dream it, you can
do it”. But of course, any technical details have to be considered J . Our customers enjoy the freedom to
make their dreams come true and our designers are ready to assist them in case
of questions. More and more people use this opportunity and also the B2B sector
is highly interested in purchasing customized goods for their clients.

FTP: Any tips you can give entrepreneurs who want to
venture into any niche of mass customized products or services?

SL: Keep
smiling, be smart and exhaustless. Honestly, it is important not only to focus
on a configurator. Show all products on your web presence, give examples and
don´t let the user think. Furthermore, in my opinion, an extraordinary customer
support is more than a requirement today!

FTP: Are you looking for any specialists to expand
your team within the next time?

SL: We are
always looking for specialists. Good people are hard to find. Our new partner
and Business Angel, Marlon Ikels, is an ecommerce expert and we are more than
happy to have him in our team. Among others, he is founder of He´s great and it is always good to get more
knowledge. We love to work with him.

 More about Amoonic on

8 07, 2013

MCPC 2014 Website Gone Live! Get Your Latest Info About the Conference!

By | 2018-06-14T06:46:57+00:00 Juli 8th, 2013|Events, MCPC2014|

We have just received this great announcement from our friends at Aalborg University:



The Mass Customization Research Group at
Aalborg University is proud to announce the continuation of

World Conference on Mass Customization,
Personalization, and Co-Creation

The MCPC 2014 conference will be held in
Aalborg in Denmark February 4 – 7, 2014.

The conference web site is opened with
further details. Please go to:


MCPC 2014
invites you to contribute to make this event unique. Besides the academic
sessions, we call for more business oriented sessions too with demonstrations
of successful business applications, practices, and insights. Since its
beginning, there has been a good balance between practitioners and
academics/researchers. We strive to connect MCPC thought leaders,
entrepreneurs, technology developers, and researchers. We invite you to submit
your ideas and encourage you to participate. 

It is really great to see that Aalborg's MC enthusiasts have done such a great job at preparing MCPC2014 in such a short time! It will certainly be a great event (again).

5 07, 2013

ShopBot Introduces 3D-Cutter: Handibot Smart Power Tool, Driven by Crowdsourced Apps

By | 2018-06-14T06:47:00+00:00 Juli 5th, 2013|Cases-Industrial, Crowdsourcing, Technologies & Enablers|

Information below originating from ShopBot Tools press realease of Thursday, June 27, 2013.

ShopBot Tools, Inc., has recently launched a
Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to support development
and distribution of its latest hardware innovation, the Handibot smart power

The Handibot Smart Power Tool is a portable robotic power tool designed to enhance creativity
and productivity at construction and remodeling jobsites, in rapid prototyping,
and in countless DIY projects. The Handibot tool features an App-Driven,
one-button “Start;" it can be run from a smartphone or tablet, as well as
from PC's
.  If you've heard of 3D
printers, then think of the Handibot as a '3D Cutter' — you can use the
Handibot to cut, drill, and carve in wood, plastic, and aluminum with
computer-controlled precision.

ShopBot President Ted Hall explained, "The Handibot
tool delivers precision cutting, drilling, machining, and carving. That's
because full-up CNC (computer-numerically-controlled) technology is operating
'behind the scenes.' The Handibot tool features uncompromised components for
open development and expansion of functionality
(6-axis control, I/O, power,
configurability)." ShopBot developer David Bryan emphasized, "CNC
tools are not usually thought of as job-site friendly. With traditional
industrial CNC, you have to take your material to the CNC tool. With the
Handibot, you can bring the tool to the material, wherever you need to

The Kickstarter campaign will fund an initial production
run of Handibot power tools by ShopBot, and also enable development of a
web-based eco-system where anyone with ideas for apps can collaborate with app
developers in an open source software and hardware environment.
"One company
can't possibly come up with all the interesting job apps that can be put to
work with a Handibot tool," Ted Hall explains. "So we look to the
crowd to think of apps for the tool and work together in developing them.
See the campaign at

Here is the kickstarter promotion video on Handibot.


More about the Handibot at

5 07, 2013

By | 2018-06-14T06:47:05+00:00 Juli 5th, 2013|Allgemein|

  • Know about any great case, event or interesting developtment related to Open Innovation, Mass Customization or 3D Printing? Tell us about it!

  • Should be Empty:


11 06, 2013

[OIA Market Study 2013] Who Participates in Open Innovation: A Solver and Community Perspective on the Market for Open Innovation

By | 2018-06-14T06:47:09+00:00 Juni 11th, 2013|OI Market Study 2013, Open/User Innovation|

OIAS coverIn a series of postings, we introduce some key figures and results from
our 2013
OIA Study – A Market Report & Comparison
of more than 160 Open Innovation Accelerators (OIAs)
— intermediaries, brokers, platforms, and consultancies for open innovation
and customer co-creation.

OIAs build on the involvement of
a community.
OIAs connect clients through their communities with a
variety of external actors, most of them are new and unknown to the client
(this "looking out of the box" is exactly the value of open

OIA services differ
significantly regarding their community composition. In average, we find that OIAs have an existing pool of participants
(their "community") of 20,000 members. But OIAs specializing on
ideation or technical contests often have community of more than 100,000

OIA graphic51
The general level of expertise of the community
significantly differs among the different services. OIAs offering technical
search services in form of technology scouting, for example, have access to
high level expert communities, while OIAs focusing on ideation and concept
generation often have a broad, very heterogeneous community of "average"

From this pool, about
200 members finally join a
particular project
(in the case of contests, this number is 300). Again
methodological aspects of the services influence the total participant number.
Workshops have a natural limit for participants to be able to generate
meaningful output. 

OIA graphic52
To join the pool of
participants, prospective participants have to accept general terms and
conditions, but in general do sign not a formal contract. This is a core
difference of open innovation via OIAs compared to traditional forms of R&D
networks or alliances.

OIA graphic53
Our study clearly
shows that managers have to take large care when selecting an OIA.T the
composition in terms of expertise and heterogeneity of the community offered by
different OIAs is very heterogeneous and demands special attention – in the
end, the task have to fit the community.

We find a general
focus on applied sciences. Yet expertise background is influenced by project
targets. Services like technical search involve individuals with expertise
preferable in natural and applied sciences and less in social sciences or arts.
On the contrary community members for contests, e.g., design contests, or
market search are characterized by experience in the field of arts or social
sciences. Similar to the characteristic by background of expertise is the
characteristic by the level of expertise. Problem solving projects demand a
higher expert level than projects focusing on consumer insights.

Find all earlier postings here.

For the full picture, refer to The Market for Open Innovation: The 2013
RWTH Open Innovation Accelerator Survey
, with many more details, authored by Kathleen Diener & Frank Piller, 2nd
edition, May 2013. Lulu Publishing: Raleigh, USA

Check all options how
to get the study at

6 06, 2013

[OIA Market Study 2013] Who purchases Open Innovation services? Non-profits and public agencies are coming up

By | 2018-06-14T06:47:12+00:00 Juni 6th, 2013|OI Market Study 2013, Open/User Innovation, Technologies & Enablers|

OIAS coverIn a series of postings, we introduce some key figures and results from
our 2013
OIA Study – A Market Report & Comparison
  of more than 160 Open Innovation Accelerators (OIAs)
— intermediaries, brokers, platforms, and consultancies for open innovation
and customer co-creation.

In our 2013 market study, we also investigated who is
using the services offered by the OIAs
. First, we find that clients are served
, and at the same time, OIAs often have the opportunity to also search
and call globally for participation. The U.S., however, still is clearly
leading the OI field of applications.

OIA graphic41

Open innovation is not focused on special industries.
We were surprised by the breadth of industries covered by the OIA's client
lists. Especially the electronics industries are strong. Agriculture could
benefit from a larger attention for OI.

However, within all industries, clients from SMEs are still the
. OI still is a game of global organizations with a dedicated
innovation management function.

Interestingly, we today find rather larger share of non-profit
organizations among the clients of the OIAs
. NGOs and clients from the public
sector are strongly increasing. This may be the outcome of recent "Open
government" trend.

OIA graphic42
OIA graphic43

For the full picture and many more details, including detailed profiles of 160 Open Innovation Service Providers, refer to The Market for Open Innovation: The 2013
RWTH Open Innovation Accelerator Survey
, co-authored by Kathleen Diener & Frank Piller, 2nd
edition, May 2013. Lulu Publishing: Raleigh, USA

Check all options how to get the study at

28 05, 2013

[OIA Market Study 2013] Ideation contests dominate the Market for Open Innovation

By | 2018-06-14T06:47:15+00:00 Mai 28th, 2013|OI Market Study 2013, Open/User Innovation|

OIAS coverIn a series of postings, we introduce some key figures and results from
our 2013
OIA Study – A Market Report & Comparison
  of more than 160 Open Innovation Accelerators (OIAs)
— intermediaries, brokers, platforms, and consultancies for open innovation
and customer co-creation.

According to our research, service providers for open innovation
(OIAs), can be structred along two
fundamental principles:
(1) The kind of information required and (2) the
method to identify and initiate the collaboration with an external actor:

(1) The type of information searched by clients:

  • Market information is information about customer and market needs, i.e.
    information about preferences, needs, desires, satisfaction, motives, and etc.
    of the customers and users of a new (potential) product or service offering.
  • Technological information is information on (technological) solution
    possibilities, i.e. information about how to apply a technology to transform
    customer needs into new products and services best.

Our research revealed a significant difference between
OIAs and the methods applied for projects searching for market/need
information, compared to those searching for technological/solution
information. Solving of specific technological problems favors different
approaches than searching for need information. Also, both kinds demand very
different kinds of participant communities and incentive schemes.

(2) How to initiate the coordination with external participants:

  • An Open Call refers to a
    problem statement that is publicly announced, directed to a heterogeneous, and
    generally large, network of external actors. Potential solution providers
    ("solvers") decide via self-selection whether they want to
    participate in the process. The "seeker", i.e. the entity issuing the call, then
    selects the best submissions.
  • Open Search refers to a broad search for information and sources,
    conducted by the OIA with neither too concrete pre-assumptions about
    information aspects nor source details. A core idea is to actively seek for
    potential external contributors using advanced sampling methods, engaging in
    pre-screening specific characteristics (e.g., "lead user"
    characteristics), using social networks or network analysis to identify central
    actors from different domains.
  • In addition, our study revealed a third form of
    finding partners
    and initiating collaboration: a selective call. The
    selective call is a hybrid between call and search. OIAs applying this
    mechanism follow a two-step procedure. They pre-select a number of potential
    external actors who might hold the desired information and then call for
    participation within this sub-sample.

Combining these two general principles, we can
distinguish between different methods for open innovation. We call those "OIA services", as these are the
services and solutions offered by the OIA (look at this earlier post for a table):

  • Contests: Generating
    contributions to a technical and/or market related task with the objective to
    identify the "best" submission in response to an open call.
  • Workshops: Generating technical
    and/or market information by performing workshops.
  • Open market search: Searching and
    observing defined areas for market information (e.g., Netnography in online
  • Technological search: Searching and observing defined areas for technical
    information (patents, technologies, user bases).

Among these categories, we find in our 2013 market
study that the majority of OIAs focus on providing ideation contests
or other
contest for technical problem solving.

OIA graphic3

For the full picture and many more details, including detailed profiles of 160 Open Innovation Service Providers, refer to The Market for Open Innovation: The 2013
RWTH Open Innovation Accelerator Survey
, co-authored by Kathleen Diener & Frank Piller, 2nd
edition, May 2013. Lulu Publishing: Raleigh, USA

Check all options how to get the study at