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Jožef Stefan Institute
Jamova 39
1000 Ljubljana
phone: +386 1 4773593
fax: +386 1 4773935

Central Community – Emerging communities for collective innovation in Central Europe

The pace of technological change is accelerating. Radical discontinuities seem to happen more frequently. This means that the useful lifespan of knowledge and capability is becoming shorter and that the obsolescence of knowledge/capability is increasingly the norm in innovation. Innovation is a winning strategy, but it requires an
interdisciplinary approach and a diversity of knowledge base that in general SMEs struggle to access. The Gothenburg and Lisbon strategies involve high productivity growth with absolute decoupling of environmental impacts at a macro level, realised basically through the processes for eco-innovation at a micro level. The Transnational collaboration among organisations, especially SMEs, is a winning strategy and it is has to be facilitated through easy accessible ICT tools allowing for actual open innovation to take place.

CentralCommunity project wants to enhance framework conditions capable to create collaborative innovation to achieve successful, repeated open innovation; access to learning and knowledge processing; access to cognitive diversity; have the possibility to be connected to foster collaborative projects. The project addresses the major
constraints by feeding the innovation ecosystem, starting from 3 key-concepts: transnational communities based on key competence areas become the new organisational unit of the innovation process and define the ecosystem of innovation; generation of innovative ideas, new product development and diffusion of innovations are carried out in parallel by self-organising communities of different actors (i.e.: suppliers, users, experts, social stakeholders); the key aspect that will define success or failure in discontinuous innovation projects will be the amount of cognitive diversity that firms (or groups of) will be able to gather and manage.

CentralCommunity project aims at developing conditions for the creation of communities (bottom-up approach) supporting each phase of the innovation process, by providing SME with an ICT operational platform named iCOMMUNITY. The new AGORÁ for collective intelligence and emerging communities is able to facilitate the
innovation process, to foster collaboration among SMEs and trigger structured proactive actions. Our vision is that iCommunity will become a Research and Development Agorà for innovation. CentralCommunity is an ICT operational web 2.0 platform, with semantic enabled functionalities that will enhance SME specific innovative abilities in: using different tools and methodologies for new trend foresight, new idea generation, and design implementation; generating new trends, concepts and models about products and processes; creating self-organized communities which support development of new products by means of collective intelligence sharing web-application.

CentralCommunity will be based on the results of the FP7 Research for SMEs associations Collective project: Emerging communities for collective innovation – ICT Operational tool and supporting methodologies for SME Associations. iCommunity will be customised to the needs of Central Europe industry environment and will focus on a sectorial cluster: life sciences, which includes not only biotechnology, biochemistry, molecular biology, etc. but also those sectors where innovation in life sciences can be most easily applied, such as bioeconomy, health, drugs and food production, cosmetics and environment. These sectors are becoming important for Central Europe countries and this is why collaboration and interaction among actors in the different areas is to be facilitated through innovative ICT tools. CentralCommunity project aims at piloting and testing the platform in real conditions in the context of Central European innovation players to support eco-sustainable innovation.

DURATION: 1 October 2012 – 31 March 2015