30 March 2021 | Münster

In November 2020, Dr. Sue Rossano-Rivero, Judith Helmer, and Thuong Huynh from S2BMRC began working on the Erasmus+ funded project "Digital Innovation in the Service Sector", a collaborative project with six European partners: the Universytet Szczecinski (Poland) as lead partner joined by  Münster University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands), Momentum Marketing Services (Ireland), European Universities continuing Education Network (Belgium), and European E-learning Institute (Denmark).

From retail to real estate, transport to tourism, the service sector provides 150 million EU jobs and its role in driving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth is undisputed. Moreover, servitization and service innovation have appeared as a successful way for many companies, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, to overcome the dead-end road of competition. However, in reality, SMEs do not frequently participate in digital innovation for services and not a lot is known about the underlying process.

In the face of these challenges, universities play an important role by combining theory with practice and setting standards of future work practices. Therefore, lecturers need up-to-date, reliable information to develop modern course curricula. Thus, the objective of the project is to gain a better understanding of how small service companies currently undertake new product development so that the project can improve how digital innovation for services is taught. On the way to delivering up-to-date digital Problem-Based Learning Open Educational Resources for students and lecturers, the team of S2BMRC is currently working on a Digital Innovation Audit mapping a digital innovation process for services based on scientific literature and expert interviews. 

The project team of S2BMRC, as leading partner for the first intellectual output, has analysed over 25 innovation processes from scientific literature to map an up-to-date innovation process combining the specifications digital innovation and service innovation. Seeing the complexity of this topic, Project Manager Judith Helmer and Project Assistant Thuong Huynh have created a three-level process which gives an overview of the process, while adding reach details in the sub-steps. Overall, 6 steps on the first level, 19 steps on the second level, and over 80 steps on the third level have been identified. The following picture represents the first-level process.


Now, this three-level process is further validated and enriched by over 20 expert interviews with educators in higher education institutions in Europe teaching in the area of innovation processes. Finalizing this innovation process, it will be used to create a digital tools platform to map facilitating digital tools such as Trello, Miro, and Zoom along the innovation process steps. Stay tuned for the upcoming go-live of the platform at the end of May!

For more information on the project, visit the 'Innovating Digitally' website or join our LinkedIn group for news.

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