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INTOKI- Methods and tools for consumers' and stakeholder involvement in the development of sustainable products and services

Supporting SME bakeries in the involvement process of their stakeholders in sustainability oriented product service innovation processes. Development and pilot testing of a dialogue oriented toolkit ("The INNOVATIVE Bakery Dialogue" Handbook).

Short Description

Status

completed

Summary

Background and motivation

Sustainable societies need environmentally and socially compatible products and services. Besides technology innovations, consumers' and other stakeholders' involvement into the process of product/ product-services development is an important prerequisite for the success of more sustainable solutions.

Content and aims

The aim of INTOKI was to support SMEs in the bakery products' sector in the involvement process of their stakeholder groups (customers, suppliers, mills, ...) in sustainability oriented product service innovation processes. The methodology uses the creativity, ideas and problem solving capacity of the enterprise and its environment. Existing tools were refined and combined with newly developed tools, the methodology was adapted to the framework conditions of the target group. The result is a highly innovative method and appropriate toolkit, that fosters interaction, dialogue and participation of the stakeholder groups and involve interested groups with divergent interests and needs in sustainable solution finding. Enterprises are offered the opportunity to involve their stakeholder groups into the design of new products and services in an efficient and focussed way.

Methodology

An in-depth literature work on the subject was followed by a critical analysis concerning the adaptability of existing methods and tools to the project case. Requirements regarding methodology and contents were formulated by the project team and the advisory board. Tools and methods were refined and newly created. Based on this work carried out between January and May 2006, the "toolkit"(= handbook) and related application methodology - called "The INNOVATIVE Bakery dialogue" were developed and refined between May 2006 and February 2007. In the framework of a pilot phase over several months (Nov 2006 - May 2007), a SME bakery and its stakeholder groups, guided by the project team, tested the new participation methodology in practice. The testing included four workshops and an implementation phase in parallel to the workshop meetings.

A scientific monitoring research (formative evaluation) analysed and secured the experiences of this process. Perspectives of all actor groups involved were considered (November 2006-May 2007). Further interested bakeries evaluated the test version of the handbook in May and June 2007. The presentation of the INNOVATIVE Bakery dialogue and discussion of its potential for dissemination in a final event were the concluding activities of the project. In this event, the project team, the pilot bakery, the project advisory board and the founding institution took part.

An advisory board, composed of selected representatives of administration, industry, research, interest groups and chambers advised the project and assured its practical and applied character.

Project results

  • Literature research report: overview and analysis of existing tools and methods of stakeholder involvement in the development of sustainable products and services
  • Participation toolkit for stakeholder involvement in the development of sustainable products and services, easily applicable in SME practice - Handbook and Methodology "The INNOVATIVE Bakery dialogue"
  • Pilot testing phase of methods, didactics and contents in the bakery products sector (SME) over several months
  • Scientific evaluation report, summarizing the results of the formative evaluation during the pilot phase
  • Activities for information on the project and dissemination of its results, addressed at different target groups: Project leaflet for bakeries; Information texts and handouts for all participants of the pilot phase; Presentations to the advisory board; Presentations to the scientific community
  • Public final presentation of the INNOVATIVE Bakery dialogue and discussion of its potential for dissemination of results
  • Project final report

Publications

Presentations at the SCORE conference (10./11. March 2008)

Project Partners

Project leader:

JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
Dr. Gudrun Lettmayer
Institut für Nachhaltige Techniken und Systeme

Project partners:

  • JOANNEUM RESEARCH - Institut für Nachhaltige Techniken und Systeme, Graz
    Dr.Gudrun Lettmayer, Mag. Nele Haiböck-Sinner
  • IFZ - Interuniversitäres Forschungszentrum für Technik, Arbeit und Kultur, Graz
    Dr.Uli Seebacher, Mag. Jürgen Suschek-Berger
  • ÖGUT - Österreichische Gesellschaft für Umwelt und Technik, Wien
    Mag.a Henriette Gupfinger, Mag.a Andrea Ebner

Contact Address

JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
Dr. Gudrun Lettmayer
Institut für Nachhaltige Techniken und Systeme
Elisabethstraße 16-18, A-8010 Graz
E-Mail: gudrun.lettmayer@joanneum.at
Tel.: +43 (316) 876 2415
Fax: +43 (316) 876 1407

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