The Service Design Process of The Open Virtual Bioeconomy Innovation Ecosystem, Biobord

The Service Design Process of The Open Virtual Bioeconomy Innovation Ecosystem, Biobord By: @Anna @DianaP is an open virtual bioeconomy innovation ecosystem that brings together bioeconomy developers around Baltic Sea Region to solve joint problems. It consists of a digital platform and an operational model for the transnational network. Biobord has been developed in RDI2CluB -project that has been funded by Interreg Baltic Sea.

The service design development process of Biobord wasn’t the easiest, but there is a clearly identified need for an online innovation platform in the field of bioeconomy. There is vast amount of natural resources in the Baltic Sea Region that could be used for bioeconomy product and service-development (Nordic Council of Ministers 2020). Regardless of the amount of the natural resources that rural areas have, the innovation of new bioeconomy products and services is still taking place in the growth centers. This might be because of the challenges that innovation faces in the rural areas, skilled people are moving to growth centers, lack of bioeconomy developers and long distances. This creates challenges to the innovation and hinders economic growth in the rural Baltic Sea Region.

Finland’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (2018) sees that digital platforms and -services will create brand new business opportunities in the field of bieconomy.

Biobord was created with the transnational RDI2CluB team, that consists of four nationalities: Finland, Norway, Poland and Latvia. A big team brought also a wide scale of expectations, visions and ways to do things. The Digi-knowledge levels also varied. A clear common goal and the identified need for a digital platform enabled a successful development process.

The iterative service design process was conducted September – December 2019 and here is how the RDI2CluB performed it:

  1. Identification of the potential Biobord users with the help of user profiles. This helped the team to vision the potential users and their needs, motives, customs and expectations to services.

  2. Creation of service paths for the potential users. Service paths were designed for the needs of the potential users.

  3. Joint workshop with the transnational development team. All members were allowed to take part to the design process and tracking the official service paths.

  4. First version of and an first operational model were launched

  5. Closed testing period of two months for a preselected test group.

  6. Open piloting with pre-selected members of the innovation hub.

  7. Feedback collection from new Biobord users that were gained during open piloting

  8. Platform development based on the feedback

Results of the design process:

  • 160 new users around Baltic Sea Region
  • Intuitive and simplified digital platform
  • More involved developing team (being part of the development process, makes people more committed to further actions)
  • Identified user path of new Biobord users (regional groups with mother language are preferred as the first step in the transnational innovation process and examples lead the way).

Summary of: by Anna Aalto and Diana Pitkänen from JAMK University of Applied Sciences, The Institute of Bioeconomy