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🎙 Anniversary podcast with the initiators
Dominik Gross (Founders Foundation gGmbH), Almut Rademacher (owl maschinenbau e. V.), Britta Herbst (Pioneers Space GmbH) and Prof. Dr Ingo Ballschmieter (Fachhochschule des Mittelstands GmbH) take a look behind the scenes of 4.5 years of open innovation at city level.
OIC.Progress - the final event!
Open innovation has a lasting future in Bielefeld, as the ceremonial conclusion of the Open Innovation City Bielefeld project showed. Around 250 guests attended the innovation festival at Lenkwerk.
OIC in Bilbao: World Open Innovation Conference 2023
The theme of the anniversary conference in the B Accelerator Tower on November 9-10, 2023 was "Bringing stakeholders together to create shared value".
Climate change, the mobility transition, digitalisation and much more - cities are facing major challenges. The Open Innovation City project focussed on the question of how cities can be competitive and fit for the future under the current conditions.
To address this question, the principle of open innovation, which originated in the business world, was transferred to the city level. The focus was on networking between all areas of urban society to jointly shape the major issues of our time.
The project (1 July 2019 - 31 December 2023), which was funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, aimed to improve the networking of urban society in order to use this potential to work together in open formats on the major challenges of our time - for future-oriented cities.
Over the course of four and a half years, Open Innovation City has created tools and formats that enable a previously unusual, cross-city exchange. The four project partners made valuable contributions from their respective perspectives: the Fachhochschule des Mittelstands (FHM) with its expertise in the implementation of public-relevant research projects,
the Founders Foundation with its innovative approach to promoting entrepreneurship and start-ups, the Pioneers Club as an innovation-promoting platform for digitalised SMEs and owl maschinenbau e. V. as an industry network for mechanical and plant engineering. The focus was on actively networking people, motivation and expertise to enable pioneering projects and solutions with the aim of strengthening the city's innovation ecosystem.
A lot was initiated: Bielefeld has become the first Open Innovation City and has become a role model for other cities. As a result, large parts of the project instruments have been transferred to urban structures and are thus permanently available to the innovation ecosystem. A step that is anything but self-evident and deserves the greatest recognition and ongoing support from the urban community.
- The "Open Innovation at City Level" series provides cities interested in innovation with five core publications that describe the central aspects of an Open Innovation City: Governance, Ecosystem, Participation, Partnerships and Culture: download compendium here.
Four free educational programmes for the target groups of administration, companies, universities and schools have been created to provide further training in open innovation and support the long-term applicability of open innovation principles at city level: View educational programmes here.
The most important results and findings are presented in detail in the Learning Report of the pilot city of Bielefeld so that other cities and regions can be informed and inspired: To the Learning Report.
Finally, we, the project initiators, management and team, would like to take this opportunity to thank our patron, the Lord Mayor of the City of Bielefeld, Pit Clausen, the members of the highly committed advisory board, all national and international partners and, of course, all contributors and participants in the events and formats for the great cooperation.
When innovative ideas and motivated players come together, things can be achieved in a city that would otherwise never happen. Stay innovative.