Space as a facilitator of open innovation in SMEs: The demos lab case


This article presents an exploratory research carried out in a young Norwegian SME focused on sustainability that has made open innovation its sole operating mechanism. We focused on the SME’s project of building a creative and innovative physical space to host its projects. Using a Creative Problem Solving (CPS) process and projective techniques with a dozen of potential users, we found out the most relevant settings among 6 key dimensions drawn from the extant literature: singularity, organized-organizing, flexibility, heterogeneity, third-placeness, and exemplarity. Our results from this case study show an obvious link between the physical work environment and management practices and highlight the importance of 3 spatial and managerial settings in favor of an “open” creativity to pave the way for open innovation in a sustainable context: singularity/authenticity, organizing to support mastery and natural design to support inclusiveness.
JEL Codes: M10, M13, M54, O30, O31, O32

  • SME
  • Open Innovation
  • Open Creativity
  • Collaborative Spaces
  • Durability
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