The concept of open source is spreading like a wildfire in the world’s leading tech companies’ business models. The term originally comes from software and describe a method in which a producer shares the source code with the entire world, thereby allowing others – even competitors – to become co-creators. Lately, the term has spread to the production of physical products as well; what is usually referred to as open source hardware. There it’s not just the source code but also the design of the product that is made freely available. This turns classic business models that restricts access to (and reproduction of) a product upside down, and makes it possible to create large global communities of co-creators (engineers, programmers, designers), thereby reducing the company’s development costs and accelerating the innovation speed.
Mentoring from a global panel of experts
The REMODEL programme exists to explore this phenomenon. The Danish Design Centre has invited 10 Danish manufacturing companies to take part in this, as well as gathered an international panel of experts who all have hands-on experience with implementing open source principles in new business models and strategies. Read more about the background of the REMODEL programme here.
8 weeks design sprint at your own address – with virtual mentoring
During the next 8 weeks – from February 5th to March 23rd – the companies will work towards a strong strategic understanding of open source. Through exercises, facilitated discussions and playful challenges they will end up with a sketch for an open source-based business model and strategy for one of their existing products.
The work happens in a decentralized fashion and will take place in their own setting. Each week they will receive a work package containing tools and instructions. They set a team of 2 to 4 people – with participation from management, business development and manufacturing personnel – who will spend 4 hours each week solving the challenges, before handing them into the expert panel who will provide feedback.
Focus on opening up physical products
The companies participating in REMODEL are all manufacturing companies, as the purpose of REMODEL is to experiment with open source in physical products. The participating companies are:
Husum & Lindholm
Kinetic Mobiles Copenhagen
The companies include both some of Denmark’s largest companies as well as SMEs and a few startups. Multiple industries are represented, such as industrial tools, enzymes, pumps, furniture and urban gardening systems. The variation in size and industries will ensure that REMODEL fosters the maximum amount of varied learning about which dynamics apply when constructing new, innovative open source-based business models.
The kick-off meeting
Last week, the 10 companies gathered for an official kick-off event with focus, where they not only were prepared for the upcoming work but also entered into a forum for knowledge sharing with the other companies - allowing for deeper discussion of challenges faced during the program and beyond.
Alfred Birkegaard and Alexander Moldt Nielsen from Novozymes say:
“We hope for the program to equip us with new open source tools and inspiration to improve our open innovation journey on HelloScience and other initiatives. We are in particular interested in learning more about how we can understand collaborators behaviour and needs and translate it into a new mutually attractive innovation system for Novozymes and collaborators.”