EUSBSR blog: Iterative development and piloting the Biobord platform and hub network around Baltic Sea region By: @Hannariina (Hannariina Honkanen, JAMK University of Applied Sciences)
Biobord platform developed in BSR Interreg project RDI2CluB, connects bioeconomy innovation networks around the Baltic Sea Region to share ideas, find partners and work together to create business opportunities in bioeconomy.
Along the RDI2CluB project Biobord is engaged to piloting the Operation Model for Innovation Management in the hub of bioeconomy innovation ecosystems. Biobord offers its user network a platform for bioeconomy services, events, news and forum supporting information sharing, matchmaking and teambuilding. The Biobord network has started from strong collaboration of innovation ecosystems in Finland, Norway, Poland, Latvia and Estonia.
Biobord piloting launched for public in August 2019. First piloting round took place in autumn 2019. Piloting aimed at two-stage evaluation on the usability of the piloted system for enhancing innovation for smart bioeconomy business development and transnational cross-cluster learning of innovation actors and end-users.
Five service paths in the Biobord operating model were identified: project lifecycle, network building, capacity building, matchmaking and innovation support. In practice, overall piloting of the platform includes iterative improvements to the operational model and platform functionalities, aiming at testing and developing the services with the feedback of the users.
In the first round of piloting the focus was on the developing and enhancing technical issues of platform: e.g. visual attractiveness, quality of navigation, registration, clearance of icons, and usability in the mobile devices. The focus was also on user acceptance testing. The main user group of the platform was the staff of project network as well as their organizations’ other experts and cooperatives. The subject of the first round of the piloting was also the usability, gravity, and effectiveness of the platform. As a result, piloting provided information about the effectiveness of Biobord as a networking, matchmaking, communication and problem-solving tool.
The second piloting step is done during April and May 2020. Biobord has raised a number of registered users, bioeconomy developers, to 230 in the end of March 2020. More bioeconomy developers are aboard from business and academia after the first piloting round, and special closed groups have established in the forum. The second round of piloting is more focused on the content and actions in Biobord. Defined facilitators of the specific groups and pilot actions are presenting facilitation plans and experiences. Technical updates are still managed via specific feedback category in the platform. Ongoing technical feedback and development on technical usability and functionality of the platform is seen a continuous process in the project. The second piloting will give more precise information about the content, usefulness, effectiveness and future of the platform. One indicator is effectiveness of services for bioeconomy related activities. User experiences indicate the concrete demand of different offered discussion groups, so development of the platform is user driven. The ongoing user survey will be completed and analyzed in the project during spring 2020, and iterative development actions take place during summer 2020.
RDI2CluB project has created a completely new operation model for Biobord. The user amount of the platform is steadily increasing weekly, and the active network has decided to continue using the platform also after the project. Biobord has found it’s place in the project hub community, and the network is now ready to grow with new groups of bioeconomy developers.