The European-funded iPRODUCE, INEDIT, DIY4U, and OPENNEXT projects held on 22 April 2021 a joint webinar titled “Open Innovation for collaborative production engineering”, which is also the title of the Horizon 2020 topic that funded these four projects. The objective of the event was to foster a dynamic discussion on how to cultivate open innovation and to showcase what the projects are doing in this regard.

The webinar had the privilege of having as a guest speaker Mr. Laszlo Hetey, the European Commission Project Officer of the four projects, who provided an overview of the rationale behind the call topic and highlighted other relevant initiatives addressing similar themes. It was highlighted that the topic had the objective of engaging actors such as micro-factories, fab labs, maker spaces with the industry to find ways to develop new products and processes, new functionalities, and achieve a shorter time to market. Through collaboration between different actors an open innovation network can be established, which also leads to new business opportunities.

This introduction was followed by presentations from the four projects.

The four presentations were followed by an interactive Q&A session, where the projects had the opportunity to further discuss relevant issues and answer questions from the audience. A number of important ideas to retain are related to the importance of changing the mindset of many stakeholders to enable open innovation and the importance of understanding the role and responsibilities of individual actors in the value chain, among others.

A key takeaway from the even that there are different approaches to tackle the challenges of open innovation collaboration, whether it be through the use of open hardware, specialised frameworks that promote social collaboration, exploration of fast-moving consumer goods, or development of co-designed sustainable furniture. What can be expected in the future is decentralised, collaborative manufacturing frameworks with global accessibility and environmentally friendly local production.

23 April 2021
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Samuel Almeida
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