In practice, iBridge Hub places the citizen at the Centre of innovation and has thus shown an ability to better mold the opportunities offered by new ICT concepts and solutions to specific needs and aspirations of local contexts, cultures, and creative potentials. Nowadays, the involvement of users in the innovation process is not a new concept. User and open innovation have been progressively integrated into research and innovation policies, and many organizations worldwide claim to have knowledge in different methods, tools and expertise in user experience and user engagement techniques.
iBridge Hub is a practice-driven organization that facilitate and foster open, collaborative innovation, as well as real-life environments or arenas where both open innovation and user innovation processes, can be studied and subject to experiments, and where new solutions are developed. This unique capability enables iBridge Hub to generate concrete, substantial and tangible innovations based on user and community contributions, and at the same time to advance (academic) understanding of open and user innovation principles and processes.
IBRIDGE HUB PRINCIPLES, COMPONENTS AND VALUES
As part of our commitment to helping the commmunity solve unsolved problems innovatively by bridging technology for the benefit of the public. The foundation of iBridge Hub is based on these four Key principles:
- Influence: Viewing users as active, competent partners and domain experts are vital since their involvement and influence in innovation processes is essential. To motivate participation and engagement among users, it is important to illustrate the impact of the interaction with the users has on the innovation.
- Realism: One of the cornerstones of iBridge Hub is that activities are carried out in a realistic, natural, real-life setting. This is important since people cannot experience anything independent of the experience they get from being embodied in the world.
- Sustainability: iBridge Hub has a defined approach that meets the need of the present without compromising the ability for future generations from an economic, social and ecological perspective. It is also one cornerstone for the continuous learning cycle within iBridge Hub.
MATURITY OF INNOVATION
Another important variable within iBridge Hub is the maturity of the innovation. This relates to the meso and micro level of iBridge Hub, as this has implications for the way in which a iBridge Hub project is conceived and what different methodological steps and activities are carried out.
We discerned between the following stages, based on Jespersen (2008):
- idea (the innovation is still an idea and does not exist in any material form yet)
- concept (the innovation idea has developed into an innovation concept that explains how the innovation will function)
- prototype (the innovation has materialised in some kind of prototype which demonstrates the basic functionalities)
- pre-launch (the innovation has been developed in the form of a Minimum Viable Product, but has not been launched on the market)
- launch (the innovation is launched in the market)
- post-launch(the innovation is already on the market).
In the early stages (until concept stage) the focus of iBridge Hub projects and activities is mostly on exploration, whereas from prototype stage on, a more experimental approach can be taken. Once an MVP (minimum viable product) is developed, the iBridge Hub activities are tailored towards evaluation.
iBridge Hub offers benefits to companies, users, researchers, entrepreneurs, government developers, and public financiers. At iBridge Hub, the goal is to co-create value for all stakeholders by having processes that emphasise this approach.
- Companies benefit through cost-efficient access to end-user data and user experiences. They also save money by being able to make changes to a product much earlier in the development process based on user feedback. Over the long-term, iBridge Hub activities also tie customers to a company and its activities.
- It allows government, industry and entrepreneurs to develop, validate and integrate new ideas through partnerships that increase their chances of success
- It facilitates the integration of technological innovation in society and increase return on investments in relevant research.
- Users gain opportunities to influence the development of products. They also benefit from the solutions that are developed, which in many cases are solving problems that affect their everyday lives and which may have been otherwise unsolvable. Users also may perceive the new, user-driven products to be more functional because of the co-creative development process.
- iBridge Hub also contribute to the core activities of developers, by bringing opportunities and resources, and the developers bring their capabilities to develop real-world solutions to the users’ problems. And, finally public financiers benefit from activities and outcomes that support their objectives.
ATTRIBUTION: Ana García Robles, Tuija Hirvikoski, Dimitri Schuurman, Lorna Stokes. Editors, 2015. Introducing ENoLL and its Living Lab community. ©ENoLL
This is an adaptation of an original work by ENoLL. Responsibility for the views and opinions expressed in the adaptation rests solely with the author or authors of the adaptation and are not endorsed by ENoLL.