New Collaboration in Open Science:
ECCO Shoes and RadiSurf
Through the Open Science Platform new collaborations form. Due to the large network, regular meetings, and constant focus on solving challenges through science, the platfrom is an obvious place to initiate both small and larger projects across sectors and company sizes.
The large Danish shoe manufacturer ECCO and the small Danish company RadiSurf, dedicated to developing new adhesion technologies, are both dedicated members of the Open Science collaboration. In 2017 they decided to do a project together testing water and stain repellant properties of leather.
The Challenge: Water and Stain Repellant Leather
The partnership arose around the challenge “Water and Stain Repellant Leather.” One of the very important properties of leather is its water repellant nature, however in use, the leather is exposed to both a high degree of wear and weather and thus this important property is lost. What if the leather was actually waterproof – even after longer use. This would prolong the lifetime of leather products, and thus decrease the amount of waste.
In this collaboration between ECCO and RadiSurf, the focus on long lasting leather wear from ECCO was combined with the specialized chemistry from RadiSurf. The hypothesis of the project was, that attaching a nano-thin layer of hydrophobic molecules to the surface of the leather would increase the water resistance.
The project resulted in interesting results, however neither of the companies involved were interested in pursuing these further. Thus, instead of just burrow and forget about the results, the companies took advantage of were the partnership arose and decided to share the results on the platform used for student-projects within open science; the Open Science Framework. Thus, if you have an interest in modification of leather, instead of starting your research project from nothing, you can now access results on diazonium chemistry on leather at the OSF here.
As the platform is open for all to use, you are always welcome to comment on the results, add projects of your own, or ask about conclusions you don´t follow. Hopefully the results will be useful to others and hopefully new useful projects and results will appear under the SPOMAN Open Science projects.
If you would like to follow a specific project and be notified when new results are uploaded, please send an email containing your name (username for the OSF) and the title of the project(s) you are interested in, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collaborations are based on trust
In the SPOMAN Open Science community, network and collaboration are key elements! Sharing data openly on an online platform alone does not necessarily add any value to neither society nor participating companies. However, gaining easy access to relevant knowledge, experience, and a quite large network within both academia and the private industry most certainly add value! A mixed network containing students, researchers, and industrial collaborators means a large pool of knowledge and experience within very different fields collected at the same place every month. This means easy and direct access to the newest knowledge, fast response when a new angle is needed, and many new perspectives on both new hypotheses, results, procedures, and future-plans. Furthermore, the SPOMAN Open Science collaboration is different than most other collaborations, as the collaboration is not based on IP rights and direct economic gain but rather on a future gain based on the trust shown between participants in the collaboration.
Why should I share my newly obtained knowledge?
SPOMAN Open Science is a platform where new partnerships arise and unfold. As new SME you do not necessarily have access to collaborations with larger companies, on the other hand as a large well-established company you may not know which relevant startups exist today. In the partnerships unfolding in the SPOMAN Open Science collaboration, both small and larger companies join forces to learn from each other, develop new solutions together, and maybe even to benefit third parties.
During development of new solutions, new knowledge tends to arise. To the companies involved in the development, the knowledge may either be crucial or slightly out of scope. Crucial knowledge is kept within the company, but out-of-scope knowledge may benefit others. By sharing knowledge both time and money are saved in the innovation process.
For the cycle to be complete, the companies gaining free knowledge due to the open sharing of knowledge, would share knowledge they themselves have obtained in other projects.