Center for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (CenSE) - Odisee
Center for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (CenSE) - Odisee

Customer-driven idea generator for product innovation at SMEs

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CenSE researchers: Wim Keygnaert, Wouter Broekaert, Karen Brabant, Davy De Winne, Laurens De Cock
Duration: 1 October 2017 – 30 September 2019
Financing: PWO

In this PWO research project we investigate how digital platforms can contribute to customer-driven innovation at SMEs. We also aim for further online interaction between SMEs and consumers, to make the ideas specific and to work them out. Parallel to this research, a trial platform is being developed so that the elements that are essential to the success of an idea-platform can be explored. We are also looking at how we can give the platform a sustainable life in the long term.

We do not have to go all in overnight to design and build the platform. We start from thorough research into existing online idea platforms (literature study and case studies). We then investigate the conditions under which consumers and SMEs can be encouraged to share and pick up new product ideas, respectively. We study literature on this subject, speak with experts and question the target group consisting of SMEs and consumers (organizations). This research foundation allows us to determine the properties and interface of the online platform. We pay special attention to user-friendliness, accessibility (desktop, mobile, tablet & in-store screens) and security of the platform.

Two study areas from Odisee work together to elaborate this study. HWBK focuses primarily on research relating to consumers, SMEs and the story of open innovation and co-creation. IWT takes the lead in the construction of the platform and associated research.

Expected output
The objective of the research is to gain insight into the conditions under which consumers share ideas and under which SMEs pick up these ideas. These insights will lead to the development of a platform that stimulates open innovation with consumers. We also want to examine what is needed to keep such a platform active and self-sufficient.

You can see the result of this project on:
Center for Sustainable
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