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Scaling up Co-creation: Pathways and challenges for socially robust innovation in Europe


About the project

What does “co-creating innovation” mean? How can we scale up co-creation in a socially robust way? And what can policy makers do to promote responsible innovation throughout Europe? These are the questions we are addressing in the Horizon 2020 project "SCALINGS".

We question "one-size-fits-all" solutions for social challenges. Instead, we seek to promote innovative practices that consider the social, cultural and regulatory context in which they are embedded.


But what exactly is co-creation? And what does “scaling up” mean?

Co-creation describes the joint creation process of several  people or groups, e.g. a collaboration between companies, universities, political decision makers and citizens. A typical "co-creation innovation process" may involve members of a start-up company deciding to develop an innovative product, e.g.  a 2-Line Power Kite, new LEGO-Creations or Smart-Home products. A university then shares her resources with the creators. Additionally, end users are invited to participate in the creation process.

Scaling” means to change something in size; “scaling up” therefore describes the enlargement of something. In terms of co-creation “scaling up” means, that models that have worked well in one place (e.g. a test track in rural Hungary) should also be implemented elsewhere (e.g. a large city like Wrocław).

However, co-creation processes are always dependent on their specific conditions and therefore cannot be enlarged at will. What works out well in Leoben doesn’t necessarily have to be useful in London. Nonetheless, there are certain factors that successful co-creation projects have in common. SCALINGS attempts to identify these success factors so that the co-creation processes also work when they are used at larger scale.


How do we do that?

The project consists of ten partner institutions from nine European countries. These include the Technical University Munich (DE), the Eindhoven University of Technology (NL), the Wroclaw University of Economics and Business (PL) or the Imperial College London (UK).

37 experts from different disciplines, such as Science and Technology Studies (STS), Anthropology, Philosophy and Law are investigating different instruments of co-creation. The focus lies within co-creation in the fields of robotics, urban energy and autonomous driving. The interdisciplinary composition of the team gives us the opportunity to look at complicated problems from different angles.


So, what is our goal?

SCALINGS is aimed at citizens, political decision makers and companies.

Citizens should be given the necessary tools to independently initiate and implement co-creation processes. Political decision makers are supported in the EU-wide implementation of framework conditions for co-creation by our policy roadmap. Industry and companies can benefit from the toolkit for successful co-creation.

The SCALINGS—team at the University of Graz focuses on the legal requirements for co-creation in Europe. Currently it consists of Prof. Iris Eisenberger and DI Annemarie Hofer.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement 788359.


SCALINGS Online Event - Innovating Together: Harnessing the Potential of Co-creation

The SCALING Online Series - Innovating Together: Responsible Scaling of Co-creation is coming to an end this week with our final session.



SCALINGS: Final Annual Meeting

On Friday, 21 May 2021, the SCALINGS Consortium assembled for its third and last annual meeting.



Co-Creating a European Co-Creation Roadmap

On Friday afternoon (March 19) the SCALINGS Roadmap-Team presented a preliminary draft of the roadmap, asking participants for their comments and contributions.



SCALINGS Roadmap Workshop

On 19 November 2020, a workshop on the roadmap development was held by the team of TU München and the University of Graz.



Team Eisenberger at Paris

On Wednesday, 11 March 2020, Thomas Buocz attended the SCALINGS workshop “Putting Connected and Autonomous Vehicles to test” at MINES ParisTech on behalf of Iris Eisenberger’s SCALINGS team.


13. - 14.05.2020

Scalings Conference

From May 13th to May 14th 2020 the SCALINGS Conference "Innovating Together: Responsible Scaling of Co-creation" takes place at the Technical University in Eindhoven/Netherlands.


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