Case Study JOSEPHS

My Ph.D. project and JOSEPHS

I am interested in understanding different stakeholders involved in the co-creation process in living labs. The purpose of my research is to build a framework that outlines how co-creation can be facilitated successfully in such a multi-stakeholder environment. To explore co-creation practices in living labs, I have employed a case study approach. My case is JOSEPHS® – a living laboratory located in the city centre of Nuremberg, Germany.

JOSEPHS® is a concept – enabling the active involvement of real users in the development, introduction and commercialisation of new services and products. JOSEPHS® invites visitors to experience ongoing innovation journeys of established brands as well as new start-ups. Companies present ideas, early prototypes or even products and services at an advanced development stage in order to receive authentic feedback from users. JOSEPHS® was initiated by the Fraunhofer Center for Applied Research for Supply Chain Services (SCS) in cooperation with the Chair of Information Systems I at Friedrich-Alexander-University (FAU) Erlangen-Nuremberg. It is funded by the Bavarian Ministry for Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology. The name „ JOSEPHS®“ originated from Joseph von Fraunhofer, the name giver of the Fraunhofer organization. JOSEPHS® is open to the public and established as a meeting point for curious, engaged co-creators and creative minds.

The 400 m² open setting of JOSEPHS® attracts co-creators through four different areas. First, there is the “Werkstatt” (German for shop floor) which is the co-creation space where companies have their product or services tested by real users. This open space is divided into five co-creation spaces, each occupied by a company for three months under one theme. Theme worlds of the past include for example “Smart Services”, “Life & Work”, and “Media”. During the period of three months, more than 3000 users try out the products and services and provide their feedback to improve them. Second, JOSEPHS® has a “Think Tank” which is often used to run university seminars, events with external speaker, or lead user workshops for companies to further deepen their co-creation activities. The Think Tank can also be rented for closed company events. Third, JOSEPHS® hosts an Italian Café. Positioned right at the entrance, the café attracts visitors without them necessarily knowing that JOSEPHS® has more to offer, which helps lowering barriers to interaction. Finally, the smallest space within JOSEPHS® is occupied by Ultra Comix’ “Gadget Shop”. The shop offers gift ideas such as board games and books. Established in May 2014, JOSEPHS® attracted almost 30,000 visitors during the first 2 years and 8 months after opening. During this period, 11 theme worlds and more than 700 events took place.


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Prof. Dr. Kathrin Möslein, Dr. Frank Danzinger, Prof. Dr. Angela Roth, Dr. Julia Jonas, as well as many other staff members from Friedrich-Alexander-University (FAU) Erlangen-Nuremberg, Fraunhofer Center for Applied Research for Supply Chain Services (SCS) and the living lab JOSEPHS® substantially support my work with an open mind. I can’t thank you enough for all your support!