Top of this document
Go directly to navigation
Go directly to page content
Amersfoort Service Innovation aims to stimulate cross-fertilization between the creative and ‘regular’ sectors with the aim of offering creative methods and techniques that will provide the organisations with the tools to assess their own services in an innovative way and to be able to innovate based on new insights. The ultimate goal is to promote the economic dynamics in the city of Amersfoort.
Name of the project:
Name of the initiator and excecuting party:
Initiative of three creative entrepreneurs (Haaks, ZelleZo and Zeeno) in the framework of the “Doetank” (Do Tank) in Amersfoort Creatieve Stad (ACS) (Amersfoort Creative City). The proposal was included in the ACS 2010 Annual Plan and realized in the second half of 2010.
The theme is innovation in services. The target group consists of all businesses and non-profit organisations in Amersfoort with more than 10 employees. Stimulating entrepreneurship.
The aim is to set up a stimulation project to promote the exchange of knowledge, expertise and relationships between different parties. The main purpose is to stimulate cross-fertilization between the creative and ‘regular’ sectors with the aim of offering creative methods and techniques that will provide the organisations with the tools to assess their own services in an innovative way and to be able to innovate based on new insights. The ultimate goal is to promote the economic dynamics in the city.
Start of the project:
Preparation in 2009 and mid 2010. Actual start in September 2010. Repeated in 2011 due to the success of the first edition.
Place of excecution:
Executive summary of the project:
The city of Amersfoort’s economic structure is characterized by a substantial number of one-man operations and small companies, a big creative sector, and many care and social services organisations. The Diensteninnovation programme was specifically developed for medium-sized companies (>10 employees). Approximately 98% of those organisations are service providers. Service innovation is important to promote economic dynamism. This type of innovation can be stimulated by consolidating the interconnection between the creative sector and the ‘regular’ sector. It creates a ‘pull’ in the regular economy that generates more opportunities in the creative sector. The connections also help to promote the establishment of new businesses. Diensteninnovation is a ‘design for service’ nexus comprising the disciplines of design, design thinking, service design, and business model innovation. This new approach is being offered to Amersfoort organisations in the form of several ‘enthuse sessions’ followed up by several workshops on service design and business model innovation. Approximately 100 companies/organisations participated in the 2010 programme. Nearly all the participants found the approach and particularly the workshops inspiring. They also expressed a high level of appreciation for the combination of inspiring new perspectives and theory, combined with hands-on exercises with practical tools.
Method: We applied the basic principles of 'design thinking' on the programme design itself: open mind, listening, doing small experiments, collaboration and ensuring the existence of heterogeneity.
The following were a few of the results: the establishment of interconnections between the ‘regular’ and the creative; many organisations were accessed by means of a wide range of communication forms; companies and non-profit organisations had a better idea of what ACS represents; models and conceptual instruments for innovation that were new to many participants were provided and can be applied subsequently thanks to the human-oriented character (at low cost); a foundation was laid for follow-up initiatives (that are already taking place); small-scale collaboration is already taking place.
Why is your project considered as a best-practice:
We view the project as a best practice based on several different criteria:
• It is a bottom-up initiative that grew out of the practice
• Consequently, the entire preparation and organisation curve was lean and flexible and ultimately highly cost-effective
• The combination of the economic and creative perspectives proved highly fertile
• The realization of a pull effect yielded more opportunity than the pitching and marketplace approach
• Investing time and effort in finding, approaching and involving ‘regular’ organisations creates the foundation for new forms of cooperation and networking
• The service innovation angle, with the use of the disciplines, service design and business model innovation, provides an integral framework for innovation
• The budget was € 50K, but the actual spent budget was € 35K
What could be improved during the excution of the project:
Improved translation of the project proposition in terms of commercial challenges for the companies. Access to a communication platform, such as an online community (with more options than the LinkedIn Groups that are currently being used). More small-scale contact moments with all the participants; currently too much time often passes between the contact moments, as a result of which some energy is lost.
Best response to the project:
Wow, we should have done this much sooner!
Memorable moment and/or participant to the project and why:
A participant who got a brainwave the day after the workshop and saw a completely new business model for an activity that he has been thinking of for a long time.
Tips and tricks for those who want to follow your lead:
Always start bottom-up. Invest a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. Make sure there will be surprises (the ‘wow’ moment). Follow up and continue to communicate after the event. Keep the group together in that way.
Links to websites and/or social media:
AmersfoortCreatieveStad.nl/DienstenInnovation (and more links here)