The NIRVANA project is an EU project with the objective to develop an ICT-based platform (The NIRVANA platform) that delivers online services that will help European Network Enterprises (EENs) to achieve their goal on supporting small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to innovate together with external partners, often referred to as open or collaborative innovation. Innovation advisors will provide services during the entire innovation process through an online platform where SMEs can collaborate co-create and co-participate in innovation projects with other SMEs, experts and researchers from all over Europe.
From the perspective of the NIRVANA project, the NIRVANA platform allows to create, develop and support innovation ecosystems sponsored by a key institution, like an EEN, and innovation agency or an incumbent company. In these ecosystems, innovators can participate in the ecosystem by obtaining innovation services from innovation experts, startups and innovation advisors.
The main result of the NIRVANA project is the NIRVANA platform. Additionally, within the development of the NIRVANA project new services and experience for the development of innovation ecosystems have been acquired by the NIRVANA project partners This set of outcomes from the NIRVANA project can be used to extend the benefits of the NIRVANA project to other innovation agencies (EENs) and to other SMEs in a European-wide perspective.
The core value proposition of NIRVANA can be stated in the following way:
“To help innovation ecosystem sponsors and promotors to develop and operationalize their innovation ecosystems by providing cutting-edge ICT-based supporting technological platforms, by delivering innovative complementary instruments to enhance the innovation ecosystem performance, and by sharing a knowledge body on the creation, development, and support of innovation ecosystems”
NIRVANA’s value proposition is based on a novel approach that besides of including ICT-based solutions it offers training and novel methods to support the development of the innovation ecosystems. The ICT-based layer is flexible enough as it allows for different ecosystems to be implemented and adaptable to any platform where people can connect to start collaboration.
Project goal's and benefits
The key goal of the NIRVANA project is to develop an ICT-based layer that will facilitate the work of the innovation agents and to promote a change of mentality of the SMEs. Some objectives of the NIRVANA Project are:
- Support innovation agencies to promote online collaboration of SMEs during the entire innovation process through the design and implementation of a new service that will be provided by innovation advisors.
- To develop a novel approach based on ICT solutions, training and novel methods to support innovation agents.
- To be an ICT-based layer that will facilitate the work of innovation advisors and will also promote a change of mentality of the SMEs regarding the online collaboration for innovation.
- Enable innovators to interact with other actors (innovation advisors, companies and other innovators) in order to start new business collaborations.
A holistic consortium of partners was created for the NIRVANA project. Specifically, the project included EENs, ICT developers, and University departments. Each kind of members had a specific role in the project:
- EENs, like Brussels HUB, Swarea, Veneto Innovazione, and IKMIB, provide their innovation ecosystem as a test-bed for the project and the requirements to develop the supporting ICT-platform.
- ICT developers allowed to build the ICT-platform (NIRVANA platform) that allows to support the operation of each innovation ecosystem.
- University departments allowed to define the ICT-platform specifications, the training contents, and the collection of the Body of Knowledge on the development of innovation ecosystems supported by ICT-platforms.
As it has been said, the main goal of the NIRVANA project is the development of the NIRVANA platform. However, additional services have been developed during the evolution of the project. On the one side, the NIRVANA project partners have been able to build a body of knowledge regarding the implementation of innovation ecosystems supported by ICT-based platforms. This knowledge should be useful to design and implement new innovation ecosystems around innovation agencies or incumbent companies that want to sponsor additional innovation ecosystems.
On the other side, the NIRVANA project allowed to setup an implementation set for engaging SMEs and innovator units to innovation ecosystems. This implementation set is composed of training material for participating in open innovation ecosystems, promotional tools to attract platform participants, and best practices in innovation advising.