The value of OPI

Innovation collaborations between public and private are often carried out in order to innovate and develop public welfare solutions. The value of bringing public and private players together is precisely to make use of the diversity of knowledge and competencies held by the different partners. The diversity allows for the combining of knowledge and the various competencies needed to be able to develop holistic and innovative solutions for the public sector, which could be difficult to develop by one party alone. However, this requires that the parties are eager to get to know each other.


Invest in each other!

When public and private actors participate with each other in the OPI course, it typically takes place with a superficial knowledge of each other's different interests and needs. The parties often have different goals, values and strategies for the collaboration. At the same time, the parties also have different expectations as to the effects of the collaboration. The OPI course must thus be able to simultaneously accommodate various interests that are at play. Throughout three OPI collaborations, the research results indicate that the parties should be prepared to 1) build trust, 2) exchange knowledge, 3) spend time together, and 4) constantly seek opportunities for good collaboration.


Opportunities are being created!

In the longer term, the collaboration capabilities that private companies acquire by entering into OPI collaborations with multiple partners can be crucial to an enterprise's innovative ability and survival, which it will be able to renew via collaboration. New knowledge, new competencies and insight into potential future markets can be achieved through participation in OPI projects. Thus, private companies can avoid being locked up by their internal routines and ways of doing things, which can blind the company to potential opportunities such as a new potential market or new technology.


The team behind OPI is currently involved in five OPI projects:


1. CATCH (2017-2020)

3-year international Marie-Curie project. CATCH stands for Cancer: Activating Technology for Connected Health. The research project is about building up new knowledge about how technology solutions which are developing across the public and private sectors can be built on, so that they can support cancer patients in their rehabilitation. There is a tremendous lack of knowledge in this area. In spite of that, more and more in Europe survive cancer and therefore need new (technological) solutions in their rehabilitation and communication with the health system.


The Project Manager is Associate Professor Kristin Munksgaard. E-mail: kbm@sam.sdu.dk.


2. The Syddansk OPI-Pulje (Southern Denmark Public-Private Innovation Pool) (2016-2019)

3-year regional fund project together with the Southern Denmark Growth Forum. Taking place in collaboration with the Region of Southern Denmark (Accounting and Finance, as well as Regional Development), regional SMEs and various cluster organisations, such as Welfare Tech, CLEAN, Offshoreenergy.dk, Design2Innovate and Inspiring Denmark.


The purpose of the project is to support southern Danish companies to get more products across the road (also called the ‘Valley of Death’) from the prototype to the market, as many products do not make it from the development stage to the market. As a result, the project will contribute to increased growth, employment and exports for southern Danish companies. In the Southern Denmark Public-Private Pool, the tool used to get the products from development to market is public-private innovation collaborations, where companies and public parties test and adapt solutions together. The solutions come from the Region of Southern Denmark's business sectors: Health and Welfare Innovation, Sustainable Energy and the Industry of Experience. 


The Project Manager is Associate Professor Majbritt Rostgaard Evald, E-mail: mre@sam.sdu.dk.

Read more about the project here: https://www.rsyd.dk/wm457862


3. The OPI Living Design Lab (LDL) project (2016-2019)

3-year regional fund project together with the Southern Denmark Growth Forum. Taking place in collaboration with Kolding, Haderslev and Billund Municipality, the business offices of the three municipalities, as well as at least 12 SMEs. In addition, Welfare Tech, Design to Innovate (D2I) and CoLab, as well as a number of external design companies are also collaborating.


The purpose of the project is to promote innovation through a Living Design Lab (LDL) in small and medium-sized enterprises in the Region of Southern Denmark. This is done by professionalising companies' participation in OPI (Public-Private Innovation) projects through a Living Design Lab (LDL), where project management will be supported by design thinking (facilitation and methods). This is done partly to help overcome the silent knowledge of OPI partners and to create shared understanding, and partly to generate user insights through multiple test environments, which translate into valuable solutions for the benefit of both private and public partners. It is therefore the intention with the project that private companies cultivate the municipal welfare sector as a customer. The municipal welfare sector widely covers sectors such as the social, child and education, labour and health sectors.


The Project Manager is Associate Professor Majbritt Rostgaard Evald, E-mail: mre@sam.sdu.dk.

Read more about the project here: http://livingdesignlab.dk/


4. E-patient (2016-2017)

E-patient is a 2-year regional fund project together with Southern Denmark Growth Forum. The project is taking place in collaboration with OUH (Odense University Hospital), regional SMEs, as well as external contributions and advice from specialist companies with strong competencies in commercialisation and business planning.


The purpose of the project is threefold: 1) Strengthen innovation and innovative processes in participating SMEs, 2) Develop innovative and commercialisable solutions for digital patient preparation and patient communication, and 3) Increase collaboration between SMEs and public knowledge institutions surrounding the development and commercialisation of innovative solutions.


The Project Manager is Associate Professor Ann Højbjerg Clarke, E-mail: ahc@sam.sdu.dk. Read more about the project here: http://www.welfaretech.dk/nyheder/2015/november/e-patient-hjaelper-patienter-med-at-navigere-i-hospitalsverden


5. Strategic Efforts for Welfare Innovation at SDU (2017)

1-year project aimed at supporting companies in getting innovative welfare solutions qualified, so that they can make it from the prototype stage to the market. The project is about developing dialogue and management tools which support public and private actors in developing innovative welfare solutions. These tools are specifically developed for the formation of network consortia within public-private innovation (OPI) collaborations, as well as for the commercialisation of innovative welfare solutions.


The Project Manager is Associate Professor Majbritt Rostgaard Evald. E-mail: mre@sam.sdu.dk

Read more about the project here: http://www.sdu.dk/samarbejde/strategiske_indsatsomraader/velfaerdsinnovation