"Under Construction" is a method to facilitate technology transfer and innovation, building a bridge between Research and business.
CLUSTERIX 2.0 good practices relate to the questions: How can clusters be used to (1) better implement RIS3, (2) introduce now innovation models (e.g. digital transformation, new innovation management tools, dev. of new business models, etc.). Under Construction is an example for the 2. question, an innovation management tool offered by the IDM Ecosystem Construction to facilitate technology transfer and innovation, building a bridge between research and business.
The method was developed by EURAC, Institute for Renewable Energy and IDM in 2011. 2011 to 2018 the tool was used as an important accelerator for systematic product development between SMEs and researchers in the ecosystem.
How did it work? With an innovation call IDM invited up to 5 interested companies from the construction industry to join the innovation school and to bring in their innovative projects. Then a competition was open to researchers and university graduates - with the aim that every company participating in Under Construction gets a highly qualified research and development team to the side. After matching companies and research teams,, Under Construction offered an Innovation Workshop with high-level training modules on construction topics. Secondly, a Field Workshop was organized at the company site, where the company and the researchers intensively developed a prototype or a new business idea together supported by a tutor.
Internal IDM Ecosystem-Experts (2 people)
4-6 companies with their innovation needs
Researcher and external expert.
Evidence of success
The six editions of Under Construction so far have developed about 24 prototypes or new business ideas - 3 of them are already in implementation. the cost is about 3000 euros for each company - co-financed by the Innovation Voucher from public site.
Construction sector in South Tyrol is very small structured (90% < 5 employees), lack resources & time for innovation; difficult to convince to work with R&D.
Sucess factors: Interactive project team of research (expertise) and companies (market) work under schedule on concrete product development
Potential for learning or transfer
The outcomes and results of Under Construction were presented in a final presentation of the individual project teams. That was also the milestone to see which prototypes or business ideas have the potential to be further developed towards the market.
The “Under construction” methodology could be transferred to other regions interested in new tools to transfer academic know-how into SMEs.