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Innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology, and the Arts. The European Commission has launched the STARTS initiative to promote inclusion of artists in innovation projects funded in H2020. In the STARTS perspective, industry has to think more holistically about technologies and services that put people in the center and create values for all. At the same time, the digital transformation of industry and society is already naturally uniting science and engineering with design and artistic approaches. Recognizing these trends, STARTS is bringing artists into innovation. One of the areas in which STARTS is naturally collaborating with is Internet of Things (IoT), the new wave of ubiquitous connectivity and intelligence that represent the next step towards the digitization of our society and economy. The arts can bring resourceful insights in the process of creating lively, human-centered and trustworthy IoT systems for broader adoption.

I think that more and more we all understand that innovation in the future will be on the intersection of arts and sciences.
Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner (2014-2019) for Reseach, Science and Innovation.

STARTS Cooperation Model

The graphic above describes the STARTS challenge focused on the Arts as catalyst of an efficient conversion of Science and Technology research activities into innovative products, services and processes. The key element of this conversion process is Industry, as it what spreads Innovation in Society and Economy through the introduction of new products, services and processes in the markets. In detail, the Arts have the fundamental role of understanding the needs (and feelings, to that matter) of Society, because Artists are highly sensitive beings that work as sensors that can integrate and express contextual feelings – what we call in bureaucracy of Societal Challenges. Therefore, Artists are also sensitive to Economy as the survival mechanism of the human species. Artists react, consciously and, most importantly, unconsciously to fluctuations in the stability of economic systems. They can express those fluctuations and survive them by creating alternative paths. This creation of alternatives is the catalytic process in Innovation. Furthermore, Artists can easily make ideas flow in-between Science, Technology, Industry, Society and Economy because of their capability of establishing dialogues.

STARTS Innovation Model

The STARTS Innovation Model creates neutral grounds for transdisciplinary collaboration. In the context of Regional Development, STARTS is creating innovation centers made available by cities or regions. These spaces do not belong to a specific institution. They belong to all. Therefore, in this context, all participants of STARTS driven projects are outside the comfort zone of their labs, studios or offices of their universities or companies. Along the duration of the project, participants will contribute to the creation of innovative approaches to be shared widely and openly, in the spirit of open innovation.
The STARTS IoT Co-Creation Workshops are inspired in this model.

Innovation in industry and society is not about technology as such but about a better life for all of us. To achieve that, business and technology have to think in a more holistic way - uniting different modes of thinking - to conceive radically novel products, services and processes that are putting the human being in the center.