Start of the training programme “LOIS” for Open Innovation in Science

AUTHOR: Julia Schober

Science is increasingly under pressure to generate new insights, and at the same time, contribute to the progress of society. This is not an easy task. One problem solving approach is the establishment of Open Innovation principles and methods in Science: The opening of the research process enables open access to new perspectives, as problem and solution knowledge can be shared publicly. Open Innovation in Science can therefore contribute to an improved research performance, especially regarding novelty and relevance for society. A successful application of Open Innovation, however, requires specific knowledge and competencies.

This issue has been addressed by the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft (LBG), a research incubator with more than 500 employees, operating mainly in the field of Health Sciences. In order to address Open Innovation in Science, LBG, with the support of winnovation, created a training programme for scientists. The “Lab for Open Innovation in Science” (LOIS) is specifically designed to transfer Open Innovation knowledge and competencies to scientists and is the first of its kind worldwide. The participants have the possibility to learn the application of Open Innovation from internationally renowned experts and to test the principles throughout the entire science process. Upon completion of the one-year training programme, the participating scientists are able to purposefully employ the know-how gained during the training programme in their daily research work.

A total of 20 participants started the LOIS education programme on April 15th 2016, beginning with the first of a total of 13 training modules. A panel discussion with Prof. Helga Nowoty, chairperson of the ERA Council Forum Austria and member of the Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development, amongst others, led to a successful opening for LOIS. During the discussions, Prof. Eva Guinan of the Harvard Medical School emphasised the importance of Open Innovation in Science – “There is a massive amount of knowledge. You have to develop a way to access this knowledge. Open Innovation, or however you call it, provides a mechanism to use this massive amount of knowledge.” The well-attended event was hosted by the LBG and the Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development. A video of the event can be found here.

winnovation supports the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft in planning and organising LOIS. Further information can be found here:

                                                                                           Photos © Andi Bruckner