SCALINGS, a research project that compares co-creative innovation practices in 10 European countries, has received a European subsidy of 4 million euros. According to Professor Isabelle Reymen of the TU/e, the project, in which the technical universities of Munich and Eindhoven, among others, participate, is very ambitious and unique in its kind.

Reymen, who won a High-Tech Peak Award earlier this year for her commitment to the TU/e innovation Space, as Professor of Design of Innovation Ecosystems at the TU, is studying, among other things, the ways in which governments stimulate innovation. “Through tendering procedures, the government plays an important role in innovative projects. For SCALINGS, the European project in which universities in ten countries work together, we want to investigate the extent to which society is involved in innovative projects. An example is the development of the district of the future in Helmond. Future residents could register to discuss which innovative techniques would be applied: from home automation to the internet of things. Together with our project, we are going to investigate whether all stakeholders have actually been involved.”

The ultimate goal, according to Reymen, is to describe how co-creative innovation practices can be scaled up in a promising way in Europe. “Such research is unique in its kind. To put it simply: very often in our world, Silicon Valley is seen as the prime example of an innovative environment. But simply transferring examples from America to a European context does not make much sense. Our project does place successful examples from ten regions in context, so that in the end you can make a much better comparison and make a good assessment of whether it makes sense to scale up a particular project to other countries.”

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    The kick-off meeting for SCALINGS recently took place in Munich. Reymen admires what the TU is doing there with Unternehmertum. “A big program that’s got a lot done already. At the TU/e, we are looking more at embedding and supporting entrepreneurial thinking within the university. Unternehmertum is very commercial and very externally oriented.”

    The participating universities:

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    Author profile picture Arjan Paans is editor-in-chief of Innovation Origins. Between 2003 and 2008 he worked in Berlin as a foreign correspondent. Aftewards he was a news manager for several Dutch newspapers. Arjan is married and has one son.