Following the earlier web based study, the research group SeSaT at the University of Leipzig conducted an online survey on Innovation Laboratories existing worldwide. About 35 of the identified innovation laboratories participated in the survey by completing an online questionnaire. This equals to a response rate of about 15 percent. The questionnaire was structured around seven sections, each determining a different aspect about the innovation lab’s structure and functioning. The data gathered through the survey was then evaluated and analyzed.
The survey aimed to study the potential, salient features and resources of the innovation laboratories. The findings confirmed that the Innovation labs existing around the globe are very much divergent in terms of major concern areas for innovation support, the different innovative services offered, the access options for different groups of customers, the types and statistics of employees, main user groups of the offered services, Lab size, innovation process statistics and time durations, financing sources, connection to research institutes, and use of methods and tools in design, implementation and actual realization of the innovations. The analysis of services offered by innovation labs has led to the conclusion that labs foster the innovation by acting as intermediaries in the innovation process. The results of the survey have been summarized and will be presented very soon at the 2nd International Conference on The Human Side of Service Engineering which is part of the Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics 2014 at Krakow, Poland.
In the further course of this research, we intend to increase our understanding about the labs even more in terms of both, labs‘ structure and methodological approach of developing service innovations. This will be done through personal interviews with innovation lab facilitators and direct observation of innovation activities being conducted in the labs. Another focus of the interview will be the assessment of collaboration among the innovation laboratories existing worldwide.