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.
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!