VIPP+ Versatile tools for Innovation from Prototype to Product Plus

In the last few years, the conditions for open innovation have improved significantly. Within digital service development this becomes evident especially in the field of open data. An increasing number of authorities and public actors make their data available for external software developers. Examples of such initiatives are, for example, trafiklab.se and öppnadata.se.

Following this, digital innovation contests (e.g. hackathons, innovation challenges) have become increasingly popular as means of stimulating innovation of new services and products based on open data. Swedish examples are TravelHack, Open Stockholm Award, Volvo Cars Challenge and ITS Innovation Stockholm Kista, Goods Distribution Challenge, all aiming to create new digital services for sustainable and smart mobility.

Although innovation contests have proven to be an effective tool to support open innovation, there are still significant gaps in knowledge regarding how innovation contests should be designed and implemented. In the pre study for VIPP, the process of transforming the result of innovation contests into viable services was studied. During this study a total of 20 different barriers for turning new ideas into viable services were identified and studied.

The pre study also provided insight to that innovation contests not only are arranged with the purpose of creating viable new digital services. Organizers of innovation contests may therefore have to manage parallel processes.

While the pre study only focused on the process that takes place after an innovation contest, VIPP+ takes a holistic approach to the entire innovation contest phenomenon by studying both processes before, during and after the competition. The aim is to develop a methodology that can be used to design and adapt innovation contests, and thus make them even more effective tools for open innovation resulting in viable and commercial products.

VIPP + will address the barriers for realizing the results of innovation contests. Among other things there is a need to stimulate business thinking among the participants already during the contest, if the purpose of the contest is creation of viable services or products.

The VIPP + project started in April 2014 and will last until September 2016 and it is carried out in collaboration between SL, Volvo Cars, Vehicle ICT Arena, City of Stockholm, Stockholm University (Department of Computer and Systems Sciences ), and Viktoria Swedish ICT. An extended web page for the project will be launched early fall of 2014.

 

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