Mozilla Festival 2016

28th - 30th October 2016, London

Science Support

How to get outside support for your projects


This is an idea. It's not tested (yet).

About me

Hi, I'm Jan!

Research Associate at the Chair of Information Systems I - Innovation & Value Creation

Programmer, Entrepreneur

MozFest 2015

We need more programmers in science! We need more designers in science! We need more <insert profession here> in science!

Obviously diverse groups are important.

Why are diverse groups important?

Lessons from biology: diverse ecosystems are more stable1 and more resilient2 to outside influence.

(1) Smith, F. (1996), Biological diversity, ecosystem stability and economic development (doi:10.1016/0921-8009(95)00096-8)
(2) Cleland, E. E. (2011) Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):14

Watch this:

Lena Reinhard: This is bigger than us: Building a future for Open Source - (

Are there strategies based on diverse groups?

Yes, Open Innovation. With OI more people have a say in the development of a product / service / artifact.
(“Democratizing Innovation” - Eric von Hippel)

Lead User Theory

“Lead users are users whose present strong needs will beome general in a marketplace months or years in the future. [...] [Since] lead users often attempt to fill the need they experience, they can provide new product concept and design data as well.” Eric von Hippel

von Hippel, E. (1986), Lead Users: A source of novel product concepts (doi:10.1287@mnsc.32.7.791)

Open Innovation

“Open innovation is the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively. [This paradigm] assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as they look to advance their technology.” Henry Chesborough

Chesborough, H., Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm (2006)

Open Innovation examples

Dell IdeaStorm, LEGO Ideas, Linux Kernel

Working Open

“Public and participatory. This requires structuring efforts so that "outsiders" can meaningfully participate (and become "insiders" as appropriate).” Mozilla Wiki - Working open via Abby Cabunoc Mayes (@abbycabs)

Advantages of Open Innovation

Open Innovation creates products / services / artifacts that are better fit for the market at lower cost for the companies involved.

Reichwald R., Piller F. - Interaktive Wertschöpfung (ISBN 978-3-8349-0972-5)

Open Science

“Open Science is the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods.”

Open Science Definition - FOSTER

There seems to be common ground here

Is there a connection between Open Innovation and Open Science?

Yes, they both foster accessibility to your projects and increase visibility.


There is a key difference. Open Innovation does not neccessarily need the same amount of domain knowledge as Open Science which makes it more accessible.


The amount of work to make a project open depends highly on the amount of domain knowledge needed.

Think more like an entrepreneur

Research projects are interesting - build some kind of prototype in addition to your papers*. Improve this prototype with Open Innovation methods - this is how you attract other people with valuable input.

* You can write a paper about that too ;-)


Once you hooked people with an interesting Open Innovation project, it's a lot easier for them to dive deeper into the project. This is where Open Science's strength lies. Remember Mozilla's "Working open" statement.

Recipe / Summary

  • use Open Innovation methods to increase visibility and accessibility of your projects (give outsiders a way in)
  • then the effect Open Science has on the projects' diversity will increase as well (outsiders becoming insiders)

One more thing:

ZOLLHOF will be a startup incubator funded by the Bavarian government and many industry partners.

JOSEPHS® is an Open Innovation space where companies improve their products and services with the help of visitors.


  • Companies book an island for 3 months and showcase a new unfinished idea / project / product
  • Interested people / people visiting the café take a look, give their oppinions and ideas during conversations with the guides
  • Companies gain valuable insight into the needs of their future customers


  • Expand JOSEPHS® / ZOLLHOF to science projects, too?
  • Is the idea of diversity through Open Innovation really this easy?
  • Can this idea work at all?
  • Can Open Innovation lead to Open Science?
  • Do you have more ideas that help science projects increase their visibility and attract a more diverse group of people?

Thank you!

e-mail: /
twitter: @janhohner