STARTS IoT Co-Creation Workshops

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The STARTS IoT Co-Creation Workshops are methods to innovate the processes of creation of values of the IoT European Large-Scale Pilots Projects (LSPs). Engagement of the full range of stakeholders of the LSPs - ranging from the promoter, the European Commission (EC), to end beneficiaries, also including partners of the LSPs, Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs), startups and artists - makes of the Science, Technology and the Arts (STARTS) initiative of the Digital Single Market (DSM) the overarching principle of those methods.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is at the origin of a new era of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) where consumers are no longer just users. They are key active agents of innovation in the creation of new IoT specific processes, products and services. They are, for sure, assemblers and beta-testers of combinations of of-the-shelf solutions made available by the LSPs, potentially transforming themselves from consumers into producers - prosumers. In this process of transformation, they might even become entrepreneurs and create their own businesses as providers of new services built upon the IoT platforms being implemented by the LSPs.
The notion of co-creation of values is based on the notion of value creation. Creation is, in its original sense, an artistic act. Therefore, values co-creation expands both the concepts of value creation and co-creation towards wider, holistic and more inclusive approaches to social and economical development in the European Union (EU), contributing for the creation of jobs and growth.
The STARTS Co-Creation Method - applied in the STARTS IoT Co-Creation Workshops - is more than just a managerial tool. Because of its artistic origin, the STARTS Co-Creation Method is an on-the-ground action. It is inspired on the notion of artistic intervention and it goes beyond citizens engagement as implemented in the U4IoT complimentary project of the IoT European Large-Scale Pilots Programme. Besides the concrete on-the-ground integration of all relevant stakeholders of specific LSPs use-cases, the STARTS IoT Co-Creation Workshops put forward the plural of value in order to highlight the importance of not (or not yet) capitalized immaterial values. The STARTS IoT Cluster aggregates a group of artists contributing to the STARTS IoT Co-Creation Workshops. The role of artists is to create artistic contexts stimulating the creative participation of all stakeholders, including themselves, in the processes of creation of values of the LSPs.


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

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.