About the Project

Releasing the power of users

- articulating user interests to accelerate new innovative pathways in digital health and welfare sector


Innovation involves creating value from ideas, but this raises the question of for whom is the value created?

At a time when there is growing recognition of Global Challenges, responsible research and innovation (RRI) is suggested as a way to govern innovation development to address challenges populations face, such as poverty, inequality, aging population and availability of quality healthcare.

Such principles suggest a broader stakeholder inclusion into the decision-making process, anticipation of societal needs and reflection of concerns, which calls for new innovation policies.

Funded by NRC

1 million Euros over 4 years

Our project is a Norwegian Research Council funded project which aims to develop and extend the RRI and the CSR frameworks to make them accessible and useful tools for practitioners.

It focuses on the inclusion of diverse users in innovation processes and creating of innovative eco-system where stakeholders in the e-health sector - system integrators, municipalities, healthcare professionals, small and start-up entrepreneurs and end users, can co-create innovations together in a “safe spaces” within which experimentation, prototyping, learning from “intelligent failure” can take place.

The Focus

Digital technologies open up opportunities for change. Digitalization of healthcare allows empowering patients to shape and direct the technologies in their own interests. New technologies empower the patient to become a part of innovation process. In our project, we found a new type of user distributed across a spectrum in terms of their willingness and their capability for involvement in innovation and implementation of new ideas:

  1. the 'informed patient', equipped to use technology based on improved understanding;
  2. the 'involved patient', playing an active role within a wider healthcare delivery system and enabled to do so by technology;
  3. the 'innovating patient', providing ideas of their own based on their deep understanding of their healthcare issue.
In this project, we aim to go deeper into the new type of user, to understand how responsible innovation in digital technologies can mobilize the knowledge and resources in each user, enabling them to play a larger role in the emerging new health paradigm.

Our Approach











We employ diverse methods, including surveys, interviews, longitudinal case studies and action-based methods (interventions) in this project.

Our project will consist of four work packages described below.

Work Package 1: Understanding user’s side
In the first part of the project we will elaborate and populate our ‘spectrum model’ of user engagement, including informed, involved and innovative users, identified in our prior project.

We aim to answer following RQ: What are attitudes, concerns and expectations of users in relation to welfare technology?

This knowlegde will help to coordinate, channel, and orchestrate latent user knowledge and interests to create coherent innovation demands. We will draw upon a multidisciplinary stream of literature on attitude-behaviour relationship models, business ethics and corporate social responsibility, and consumer trust to explore and identify potential users’ expectations and concerns related to usage of new digital health-care solutions in welfare sector.
Work Package 2: Creating boundary innovation space (the SIF-Lab)
In this WP we aim to answer following RQ: How to create a boundary innovation space to activate user driven or user-inspired innovations?

This part of the project involves establishing a working space - the Shared Innovation Futures Lab (SIF-Lab) within which multiple stakeholders work together with users and potential users to help articulate their ideas and co-create the innovative solutions.

In this WP we will also work closely with the Citizen Lab in the Netherlands. We will also gain insights from other Innovation Labs such as UnternhemerTüM in Munich, Germany and the Fraünhofer “Josephs’ Lab in Nuremburg, Germany,
Work Package 3: Enabling the ecosystem
In any innovation ecosystem there are two key questions – are all the relevant players represented and do they work well together?

We aim to answer following RQ: How to enable the eco-system to ensure diffusion of responsible digital innovations in welfare sector?

This WP identifies motivations of different stakeholders within the eco-system and suggest collaborative business models for “free innovation”, in particular it will assist user-inspired innovative micro businesses to generate value in collaboration with system providers, municipalities and healthcare providers to generate socially desirable outcomes.
Work Package 4: Open learning arena
This WP deals with dissemination of results and transfer knowledge to other sectors via collaboration with national virtual RRI centre. It facilitates learning across international and national research partners, stakeholder groups of this project and with other communities of RRI and CSR researchers, businesses and policymakers.

In order to ensure the transferability of knowledge, we suggest a series of three two-day workshops at each “reflective” stage of our three WP. These workshops will be open for partners and their stakeholders in the national virtual RRI centre.


We will collaborate with Norwegian Smart Care Cluster (NSCC) and their innovative firms in Norway and Citizen Lab in Netherland, which allows interventions, and will visit and observe Labs in Germany for best practices.

Apart with collaboration with NSCC who also contribute with own resources into this project, we have many supporting partners that confirmed their particpation in the project. These are introduced below:

Established Organizations:

Atea: With 7,200 employees and 4,000 consultants located in 87 offices across seven countries. Atea is an important system integrator in the health sector
Sensio: Sensio is the leading provider of welfare technology and helps more than 160 large and small municipalities with quality and efficient operation of their care services, while providing comfort and security in the thousands of homes.
Norengros: Norengros is a nationwide chain of 13 companies with local owners, with 40 wholesale store and is Norway's largest supplier of consumer goods.. It ́s comprehensive product range includes welfare technology and e- health products.

User- Groups organizations:

The Pensioners' Union is an organization that works to give the country's pensioners a clear voice. Union engage in the areas of health, finance, culture, security and accessibility, in matters that matter to your everyday life as a pensioner.


Stavanger, Randaberg, Klepp The municipalities are responsible for providing good and sound health and social services to everyone who needs it, regardless of age or diagnosis.

Living Labs:

UnternehmerTUM offers founders and start-ups a complete service, from the initial idea all the way to IPO. A team of experienced entrepreneurs, scientists and managers supports founders with the development of their products, services and business models. The experts accompany them actively with building up their companies, market entry and financing – also via Venture Capital. Citizen lab is part of the ‘Societal Impact’ strand of ‘TopFit’, a regional open innovation programme in the health cluster in the Eastern part of the Netherlands, linking universities, medical hospitals, a cluster of companies in health technology, care providers, insurances, municipalities and other actors from the health sector.

Our Impact

This project develop new forms of interaction where authorities, public agencies in the research and innovation system, companies and civil society come together as partners to engage with societal challenges within healthcare.

Our project suggest a demonstration facility bridging users with innovative firms and with broader eco-system. Secondly, we develop and test a set of scalable techniques allowing wider implementation of inclusive and responsible innovation in welfare technologies, including user-centred engagement and corporate reporting/ accounting practices for enhanced responsibility.

By engaging the broader eco-system in the co-creation of innovations, which create both social and commercial value, we would develop a template for RRI that offers the potential for creating radical innovations, which have significant economic potential and address societal challenges

Attend our Events


Read Our Publications