06. April | 2023

Salon for a Health Centre

Paper Presents New Format for Dialogical Knowledge Transfer

In addition to teaching and research, universities have a third mission: knowledge transfer. In a new paper in the journal “Local Economy”, Julia Stadermann and Suntje Schmidt report on Innovation Salons - a new transfer format that supports the emergence of novel problem solutions for societal challenges. In such salons, universities can work together with civil society on problem-driven innovations; for example, by co-developing the concept for a health centre in a rural area.

The project “Open Region: Regional Problem Situations as Starting Points for Innovations” examines problem-centred innovation processes and, in this context, develops new formats of knowledge transfer between universities and civil society in South Brandenburg with the event format “Innovation Salon”. The Innovation Salons are intended to offer opportunities to jointly (further) develop innovative solutions for regional challenges by bringing together expertise from civil society and academic expertise. Innovation Salons consist of two events each, in which the participants jointly structure a problem in order to develop a new view on it, and then in a second phase develop new solution concepts (“prototypes”, even if they are not technical devices).

Several Innovation Salons were held as part of the project. The first in this series dealt with the concept for a health centre in Baruth, a small town in southern Brandenburg, in 2021. Medical care there was perceived to be precarious. An initiative had been established to set up a health centre in an unused historical building that would provide a variety of health and care services. In the Innovation Salon, the original concept was significantly expanded to include dimensions of digitalisation and mobility. Representatives from regional universities contributed valuable expertise to a project that lies far outside the scope of classic technology transfer.

In their paper “Innovation Salons - Events for Dialogical Knowledge Transfer between Civil Society and Higher Education Institutions”, Suntje Schmidt and Julia Stadermann present the example of the Baruth Health Centre and use it to show the special features and potential of Innovation Salons.

The “Open Region” project is part of the “Innohub13” network of the Wildau University of Applied Sciences and the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg. It is funded by the “Innovative University” programme of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Schmidt, Suntje; Stadermann, Julia (2023): Innovation Salons – Events for Dialogical Knowledge Transfer between Civil Society and Higher Education Institutions. Local Economy, Online First.