13 July 2012. This study provides a multidisciplinary overview on the wide array of innovation practices and management within businesses and organisations and assesses their potential and applicability for the space sector in Europe


The study on “Space and the Processes of Innovation”is conceived as an accessible comparative report, structured around concrete examples from both the space and non-space sector. Since many routes and approaches with regard to innovation are considered, it allows a wide range of conclusions and recommendations to be derived.

In the first phase, the report analyses the flow of information between different players in the innovation process, and underscores the criticality of such flows for the optimisation of innovation. As an approach, different examples of innovation management are categorised based on whether an innovator invites outside active participation or not, and whether innovation is commercialised as proprietary or is made openly available. More specifically, the following areas are addressed: industrial partnering, technology petting zoos, research institutes, knowledge brokering, crowdsourcing, citizen science, open source software and wiki platforms.

In the second phase, the analytical framework of the report is expanded in order to discuss other methods or approaches towards innovation. This section includes chapters on innovation ecosystems, concurrent design facilities, university-institute-industry relationships, and the roles of location, company size, and technology platforms.

Based upon the practices and experiences in other domains, specific space-sector recommendations are formulated for all discussed topics. The overall picture displays a need for more holistic and integrated innovation-management. Many times, it shows that the optimisation of innovation requires unconventional, “out of the box" thinking and approaches.

The study was conducted by ESPI Resident Fellows Christina Giannopapa and Nunzia Paradiso, the Director of ESPI, Peter Hulsroj, and Project Manager Arne Lahcen. Research intern Elizabeth Mundee-Barket assisted in the compilation of the report.

- ESPI Report 43


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