ınnOscı Future Lab

As part of the innOsci Forum for Open Innovation Culture, the Stifterverband was taking up the challenge of strengthening open approaches and their pioneers. Twelve fellows participated in the innOsci Future Lab and contributed their expertise to the design team of a policy innovation lab. The Lab's topic was: Open Practices in higher education: How can we support open pioneers to develop broad impact in their institutions to strengthen the societal impact of science?

In the Lab, an understanding of inhibiting factors of a more intensive and broader use of open approaches in science was developed and solutions to reduce them. The findings were used to derive strategic recommendations for science institutions and to support them in implementing strategies.


  • User-centered solutions for scaling open approaches in science institutions are known and implemented.
  • Open pioneers are visible, experience appreciation and support in their institutions.
  • Knowledge, techniques, ways of working, and experiences from open pilot projects are systematically recorded, evaluated, and scaled where useful and possible.
  • Open discourses are conducted holistically, and an open innovation culture is established at scientific institutions. Associated ways of working are familiar.

The programme created products that help better understand and reduce barriers for pioneers. These analyses, tools and recommendations for action are intended to contribute to the further scaling of open approaches.

The support programme was structured in two steps. In the first step, we identified the drivers of change processes and placed them at the center of observation and learning. Fellowships gave grantees the freedom to exchange experiences and knowledge and to contribute their respective expertise to the Future Lab.

Although the first phase of the programme addressed individuals, the substantive work in the Innovation Lab aimed to develop solutions to strengthen Open Practices that have a stronger systemic impact through appropriate structures, processes and cultures. Policy makers gained insight into the concerns of Open Practice innovators and users. They learned about hurdles to establishing Open Practices at science institutions and ways to work around them.

In a second funding phase, the Stifterverband supported scientific institutions that tested solutions developed in the Future Lab in the form of real experiments. With its activities, the innOsci Future Lab aims to strategically anchor Open Practices in science, to improve the working conditions of open innovators and users, and thus to further develop Open Science for more societal benefit and value creation.

The work in the Future Lab Design Team

The programme was aimed at practitioners and designers of open practice from science, science management, politics and administration, culture or business,

  • who make components of the scientific process openly accessible and reusable,
  • use crowdsourcing, co-creation or other open approaches in their work, or
  • design framework conditions for an open innovation culture in science.

The programme included

  • Being closely involved in the work of ınnOscı as a member of the Future Lab design team and helping to shape policy recommendations.
  • Working on concrete proposals for solutions in the form of services, tools or recommendations for action for Open Practices at universities
  • to process the results
  • to qualify in design thinking methods
  • receive impulses for their own work
  • to network and become more visible in the community.
The grantees

Twelve grants were awarded for 2020, each endowed with 5,000 euros. These are individual, personal grants intended to provide design team participants with freedom and resources for their involvement in the programme:

Frederik Eichler

Nausikaä El-Mecky, PhD (Cantab.)

Dr. Patrick Figge

Hans Dieter Gräfen

Nils Hachmeister

Dr. Verena Heise

Dr. Ulrich Herb

Marcel Knöchelmann

Damian Paderta

Henriette Ruhrmann, MPP

Mag. Petra Siegele

Magdalena Wailzer, M.Sc.


The online kick-off for the programme launch took place on May 28, 2020. Here, participants had the opportunity to get to know each other and the work in the ınnOscı Future Lab. The event also provided space for exchange, discussion and networking on experiences and issues around the topics of Open Innovation and Open Science.

The Future Lab took place as a series of workshops in three modules:

  • Sprint 1: June 8-12, 2020.
  • Sprint 2: October 12 to 16, 2020.
  • Impact workshop: November 17, 2020

On August 10, 2020, a stakeholder dialogue was held as part of the online workshop “Potentials and hurdles of Open Science from the perspective of open pioneers and policy makers”. There, observations and assumptions from the innOsci Future Lab were presented and reflected upon with a selected group of policy makers.

The programme ended after a runtime of twelve months with a closing event. Here, collected experiences and insights on the programme were shared and results from the ınnOscı Future Lab were presented. A poster summarizes the need for action and options from the perspective of open innovators and users.