Current research projects:
RESTORE - Building drought resilience: Using the Lead User method for identifying, developing and scaling of locally developed and embedded innovative technologies in Ethiopia and Kenya.
The joint project aims to identify and scale innovative technologies that contribute to enhancing the population's resilience towards droughts. Additionally, these technologies should have also already been successfully embedded in the local context of the target countries Ethiopia and Kenya. In addition to identifying and disseminating these local innovations, the project focus is on the transfer of knowledge among the project partners with regard to the methodology used. This enables these local actors to independently implement such development projects in the future. The research project is based on the increasingly recognized fact that local knowledge makes an essential contribution to disaster risk management. Methodologically, a method for the identification and further development of innovations - the lead user method - is used. It has already been established at universities and in the private sector for over a decade. Together with innovators and our partners - including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and their Red Cross societies in Ethiopia and Kenya - these local innovations are being tested and further developed with regard to their transferability and scalability, ideally to be applied in other regions of the countries and beyond.
RESTORE is a 6-month project fundet by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (grant number 01DG18010). The German title of the project is "REsilienz-STärkung vor Ort gegenüber DürRE – Die Lead-User-Methode als Werkzeug zur Identifizierung, Weiterentwicklung und Skalierung lokaler innovativer Technologien in Äthiopien und Kenia". It is part of the funding measure "Internationales Katastrophen- und Risikomanagement – IKARIM".
UrbanRural Solutions - Innovations in the regional management of services of general interest through optimal support for urban-rural cooperation
Demographic change is affecting the provision of services of general interest for citizens seriously, which among others include local and regional services in regard to (public) transportation, education and health care as well as securing the supply of convenience goods. Rural areas with a declining population number are confronted with growing, urban regions, so that innovative cooperative solutions are necessary. In order to implement those innovative strategies the inclusion of main stakeholders of different local and regional levels is inevitable. The innovation management approach of the project group is accompanied by Sandra-Luisa Moschner, research fellow at the institute for Technology- and Innovation Management at TUHH. The overall objective is the implementation of regional cooperation between rural areas and city regions for providing sustainable services of general interest.
Contact: M.Sc. Sandra-Luisa Moschner
Completed research projects:
Flood resilience in Indonesia - Identifying innovations using the Lead User method
This research project was a joint effort among the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia, PMI) and the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management (TIM), Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH). The project aimed at finding local innovations in rural and semi-urban areas in Indonesia that reduce the impact of floods to local communities and the environment.
In order to identify these innovations, the so-called Lead User method was applied as it has already proven to be useful in finding innovations in other contexts. This study was conducted to find out if and if yes, how individuals and communities innovate in order to better cope with the challenges and problems coming along with floods and related topics like waste management, urbanization und deforestation. Together with local partners it was the aim to discover people and/or organizations that have already developed workable solutions for their own needs, but who - for different reasons - could not yet diffuse those inventions to others. The study resulted in 25 identified innovations which can be distinguished according to 7 different categories: tangible products, nature-based, education, software & apps, community-based, service and business model, and grassroot.
We summarized our work in Indonesia in our working paper # 101 and compared the innovations that were surfaced using the lead user method with innovations that were submitted to an innovation contest.
The article Two Paths to Supporting Grassroots Innovation published in Stanford Social Innovation Review is summarizing the project.
The Humanitarian Leadership Academy has published a Case Study on the project: Innovation in Flood Resilience in Indonesia: Learning from a two-track innovation process
Open collaborations are new organizational forms for product development, which even perform in competitive environments. Distributed volunteers and users in communities create products and exhibit a new source of innovations, beyond the boundaries of the firm. This socio-economic environment challenges current organizational thinking, but also opens new opportunities. One opportunity is identifying weak signals early by integrating these distributed creative minds within the innovation and foresight process.
Current research concentrates most frequently on the collaboration between firms, but neglects collaborations with and among users. The objective of my research is to understand the collaborations of firms and users, particularly their exchange relationships and integration within the foresight process. Thus the project Open Foresight aims to integrate knowledge of distributed users within the planning process. We strive for a impactful and cost-effective product development, getting away from sporadic innovations to structured innovation pipelines.
Contact: Dr. Daniel Ehls
Potentials, challenges and social relevance of frugal innovations in the context of global innovation competition
In a joint research project of the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy Leipzig (MOEZ) and the TUHH Institute for Technology and Innovation Management (TIM), the sociopolitical relevance of frugal innovations and their current and future areas of influence in the German research and innovation system are explored. The focus is on innovation paths that particularly support the development of these types of innovations. Based on the example of the automotive supply industry, a comparative study will be used to identify and analyse German and Indian innovation paths. Each sector’s innovation systems will be investigated as a foundation for this. The research will focus on their framework conditions and incentive systems for developing the predominant innovation paths in India and Germany. In the course of the project, researchers will obtain initial findings about potentials and risks for Germany that arise from the frugal innovation model. One of the main questions to be investigated in this project is how innovation paths for frugal innovations – which still mainly come from emerging markets – differ from innovations in industrialized nations. German companies will be able to use the project findings in their efforts to develop need-based technologies and products for price-sensitive customers. The research results will help stabilize Germany’s locational advantage in the international competition.
The project Continu-ING@TUHH aims at developing concepts for and establishing individualised research-based continuing education at TUHH. These continuing education units are integrated in R&D cooperations between industry and academia where employees spend part of their time working in projects at the university. The objective is to enhance the transfer of new technologies to industrial applications.
Contact: Dipl.-Wi.-Ing. Eilika Schwenke