© Verena Nagl

From Product Innovation to Prototype Construction in the FabLab

A successful medium-sized company in the sports and leisure sector, known for its high product quality, excellent customer service and innovative solutions. However, the market is increasingly subject to high cost pressures, and regionally based SMEs face limits in this respect. It also deliberately relies on its interdisciplinary, highly motivated team. The company’s own market presence and moderate growth are seen primarily in customer-specific innovative solutions for new target groups; the potential of digital transformation is not to be left untapped here – indeed, it is to serve as a technological enabler. However, ongoing operations leave little room for reallocating resources outside the existing core business. In addition, external expertise would also be essential for this step, but this is difficult to justify in this crisis-ridden industry – especially if the outcome of an innovation project is uncertain. This is where the EDIH Crowd in Motion can make an important contribution with its services.

After introductory consultations, possibly supported by an idea generation phase, the target group is defined, solutions are sought, the most promising idea is identified, a first prototype is designed, initial customer feedback is obtained and a roadmap for implementation is outlined in a 4-day design sprint together with an interdisciplinary team. If successful, a one-week boot camp is held to work on the prototype; the company’s core team is supported by a multidisciplinary innovation team from Werkstätte Wattens as well as external experts in the implementation of a minimum viable product – including technology scouting and prototype construction in the in-house Digital Fabrication (FabLab). A startup that could provide a potential solution was identified. Ideally, this will be actively incorporated as part of an intensive 3-day sprint. Together we explore the applicability, feasibility and possible transfer of the technology. In this way, we support the company step by step, in manageable phases and with minimal risk in the implementation of its innovation project all the way up to successful market launch and financing.