Public sector innovation: Identifying the blind spots

Internal and external challenges to collaborative innovation projects

December 2nd, the Austrian Railways hosted the second panel meeting of social lab 3 focusing on public sector initiated Quadruple Helix Collaborations. The theme of the meeting was “Open innovation in public sector – internal and external challenges to collaborative innovation projects” encouraging the participants to identify challenges to include civil society actors in innovation processes.

Together with mobility experts and public sector representatives, participants from Austrian Railways reflected on the implementation of open innovation in mobility and the main challenges for Quadruple Helix Collaboration occurring both within the collaboration (e.g. regarding issues of power distribution and diversity of actors) and outside the collaboration (e.g. policy framework, corporate culture and changing (political) objectives).

For the Austrian Railways, the key learning was to pay extra attention to blind spots when including new partners in their collaborations as well as establishing new forms of and formats for collaboration. Especially, the participants recommended to broaden the definition of “mobility actors” and “civil society” enabling collaborations to represent a greater variation of mobility needs and forms in society.