They want to find out how to engage consumers in the innovation process

They want to find out how to engage consumers in the innovation process

How should the innovation platform OpenUp be developed to encourage consumers to participate? This is the question for the two students, who are doing their master thesis at Skåne Food Innovation Network.

OpenUp is not just a digital meeting place for people working in the food and packaging industries. It’s also open to consumers with the aim to stimulate co-creation.

“We will study what drives and motivates consumers to participate in these types of platforms for open innovation”, says Caroline Dimberg.

During the spring of 2015, she and Caroline Brandt will do their master thesis at the Skåne Food Innovation Network. They both study industrial economics, specializing in business and innovation, at Lund University.

“We will also investigate which kind of individuals that engage in these platforms. Different types of users are triggered by different types of incentives”, says Caroline Brandt.

Their aim to deliver a strategy that inspires a further development of OpenUp.

“For us, it’s important that our thesis is not just a theoretical product. We want to reach a result that’s easy to implement, not only for Skåne Food Innovation Network. We also want to show the food industry the benefits of involving consumers in their innovation processes.”

What do you think is the biggest challenge with open innovation?

“That companies are afraid to open up. Most companies are used to hold on tight to their intelectual property. Almost all business models are built on secret knowledge, with the result that many companies do not dare to give open innovation a go and gain from the benefits that comes with being more open”, says Caroline Dimberg.

“More companies need to realise that not all necessary knowledge exists within the company, but that there is a good chance that good ideas can be found elsewhere. I think many would like to obtain knowledge from outside their company walls, but they are not as willing to share and let others in”, says Caroline Brandt.