The Open Science and Innovation ecosystem is complex and diverse – here are a few explanations of terms:

  • Co-Design

    refers to the involvement of various actors from science, business, politics and/or society in development processes, e.g. in so-called multi-stakeholder processes. In this way, societal needs can be perceived and integrated at an early stage and consensus on the goals and procedures of the processes can be generated between the participants.

  • Crowdsourcing

    Refers to the involvement of external knowledge providers in order to find creative solutions more quickly by using different competences and knowledge. Tapping into “swarm intelligence” was originally used in software development, and is now also used in science through the involvement of citizens (citizen science) or in the research papers review ( Open Review).

  • Multi-Stakeholder Process

    Refers to the development of a product or service with the involvement of various actors from science, business, politics and/or society, e.g. in Co-Design processes.

  • Open Access

    means free access to publications and other knowledge sources. This means it is possible for everyone to acquire the published content and, moreover, to utilise and change it if the licensing conditions allow.

  • Open by Design

    Strategic Opening or Open by Design (strategic level) means the conscious consideration of the integration or outflow of knowledge along the value creation process. It takes into account and explores opportunities and potentials as well as boundaries and safe spaces in equal measure.

    Strategic Opening includes the creation of incentives, competencies, strategies, structures and processes and is based on an open culture.

  • Open Content

    Open Content is content that is permitted to be used and distributed free of charge under copyright law. This can apply after the expiration of legal protection periods, so that originally protected works can be obtained in the public domain. Alternatively, content is described as free if the authors or owners have placed the full utilisation rights of a work under a free licence.


  • Open Data

    means the barrier-free access to data, for example, from authorities, research or companies in a structured and and machine-readable form or via an open interface. The use of an open and widespread licence enables their further processing and dissemination.

  • Open Educational Resources

    Open Educational Resources (OER) are free teaching and learning materials materials that are used for educational purposes, reproduced, recompiled and disseminated for the purpose of education. In general, the content is obtained in the public domain or on the basis of fee licences (for example Creative Commons or GNU General Public License).

  • Open GLAM

    Describes the efforts of cultural institutions to make their content freely accessible. These are mainly public collections, libraries, archives and museums (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums).

  • Open Government

    Open the political and administrative processes to the public to ensure less bureaucracy, more transparency and citizen participation.

  • Open Government Data

    Stands for free access to data sets of administrations, governments, courts and authorities in order to make government and administrative actions transparent or to develop data-based innovations for the public sector together with companies and citizens.

  • Open Innovation

    is the opening of organisations to other actors in order to include external innovation sources  in their own innovation processes and to disclose unknown internal innovation sources. Open here refers to the organisation and the process, not the content itself. Content and results from Open Innovation processes are usually not freely accessible in the corporate context.

  • Open Innovation in Science

    is the fundamental understanding of the principles of more open and more collaborative practices that are applied along the entire process of generating new scientific knowledge and turning it into innovation.

  • Open Innovation System

    For us, this means that people, culture and technology meet and interact to foster creativity, stimulate invention and accelerate innovation across scientific and technological disciplines and in the public and private sectors. The basic principles here are co-existence, co-evolution and co-specialisation.

    *quoted from Schütz et al. 2019 in “Innovation Ecosystem Strategy Tool” after Carayannis and Campbell 2009 in “Mode 3′ and ‘Quadruple Helix’: towards a 21st century fractal innovation ecosystem”.

  • Open Knowledge

    Considers knowledge as content stored in works such as photos, music, literature or films, but also data (databases) and information. This “Open Knowledge” is made available to the whole of society so that a transfer of knowledge between social sectors (science, politics, economy, civil society) is possible and new knowledge can be generated collectively.

  • Open Methodology

    stands for the methods documentation and work processes while generating research results. The description of the procedure should ensure the reproducibility of results.

  • Open Practices

    are methods, routines ,and open and collaborative practices that serve to generate new scientific knowledge along the entire research and innovation process.

  • Open Science

    refers to the opening of scientific research processes to enable other actors to use and disseminate the collected data independently, to support research and to make it more transparent. Concepts such as Open Access (free access to scientific publications) and Open Data ( further usage of data) contribute to making research and knowledge more accessible to society.

  • Open Source

    refers to content whose distribution and use is guaranteed by copyright for others. Content includes photos, music or films, but also data (databases) and information. Making it accessible enables knowledge transfer and, on this basis, the merging of new knowledge across sectors. In a narrower sense, Open Source refers to software with freely accessible source code.
    The Open Source movement is closely linked to the do-it-yourself movement, with Open Data and Open Methodology.

  • Openness

    For us, openness is the process and outcome of deliberately enabling, initiating and managing knowledge flows and (inter/transdisciplinary) collaboration across organisational and disciplinary boundaries (Beck et al., 2020).

  • Openness Principles

    Openness follows core principles that underpin key behaviours and practices. They should not be seen as a rigid set of principles, but rather as a framework for orientation.

    The principles of an Open Culture include:

    • Diversity and Inclusion
    • Transparency and accessibility
    • Sharing, reuse and sustainability
    • Verifiability
    • Fairness
    • Agility and iteration
    • Fault tolerance and continuous improvement
    • User- or people-centredness
    • Multiperspectivity
    • Participation
    • Impact orientation
    • Cooperation and collaboration
    • Multidisciplinarity
    • Holism
    • Tolerance of uncertainty and failure
    • Creativity
  • Strategic Openness

    In other words, “open by design” means the conscious consideration of the integration or outflow of knowledge along the value creation process. It takes into account and explores opportunities and potentials as well as boundaries and safe spaces.
    Strategic Openness includes the creation of incentives, competences, strategies, structures and processes and is based on an Open Culture.