The "maker-movement", is essentially triggered and supported by developments in digitization. For example, open source software, design standards, crowdfunding or the simple and fast distribution via established e-commerce platforms offer supporting framework conditions to develop product ideas from the first idea to the market. The maker-movement is and will become more and more an indispensable source of disruptive innovations in the future. The targeted integration of the maker community into the already established cooperation between industry and university research will be a central success factor.
Enforcing Innovation acrosse Maker, Industry and Research
"Enforcing Innovation across Maker, Industry & Research" (MI&R) aims to support, research and further develop the transdisciplinary cooperation of the Maker Community with industry and research. The 3-years project, initiated and supported by the Institute of Innovation and Industry Management (IIM) at Graz University of Technology, is mainly made possible by Graz University of Technology, the Ministry of Education, Science and Research, as well as third-party funds of the institute itself by cooperating with 15 industrial partners from Vienna, Lower Austria, Upper Austria and Styria.
The new Schumpeter Laboratory for Innovation was developed and built as the key-target of the MI&R project at the Inffeldgasse campus.
On an area of more than 800 m² it forms a platform for the exchange and networking of makers, industry and research. By bringing together the potentials of students, researchers, start-ups, SMEs and established industrial companies, the development of innovative products and services is significantly promoted. We offer access to the most modern infrastructure - digital production machines, extensive multimedia and communication systems - in order to support the cooperation of the involved actors and the resulting product and business model developments in the best possible way. Based on the development and implementation of new cooperation models, new strategies for the targeted cooperation of the relevant key players are researched and derived.
15 Industrial Partners
The 15 industrial partners do not act as sponsors in the context of the MI&R project, but are actively involved project participants.
Since the beginning of the MI&R research project, 70 projects have already been completed with the industry-partners.
For example, product innovation projects, continuing education programs, research projects on current industrial problems, innovation weeks, innovation days, and prototyping projects have been realized.
One of the central findings of the first MI&R project is the positive effect of the regular exchange of information, knowledge and experience between the participating industrial partners within the framework of the biannual coordination meetings, in the course of which the planned and already implemented cooperations were presented by the industrial partners themselves and discussed involving students and other makers. Despite the very diverse composition of the group of industrial partners (representatives of different industries), large thematic overlaps became obvious. Common challenges should be solved in the sense of effectiveness and efficiency. The institute offers a new platform to do so.
The successful first project "Enforcing Innovation across Maker, Industry and Research" (2017 - 2019) will be continued with edition #2 (2020 - 2022).
Based on the experience gained, new projects will focus on topics regarding innovation and product development. The new Schumpeter Laboratory for Innovation will play its central role as a focal point for further cooperation between makers, industry and scientific research. Developed cooperation models will be further developed and new formats will be designed according to the needs of our industrial partners.