Virtual worlds a new approach to innovation and growth for smes in the eu

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  • Good morning Ladies and Gentleman my name is EliaGiovacchini, I’m research assistant at SSE where I’m currently working among the other thing on a project called NVWN and today I’m presenting the paper titled …. Originated from a research I have been conducting with my colleague Robin Teigland at SSE, Thomas Kohler at Hawaii Pacific University and Remko Helms at Utrecht University
  • First I would like to shed some lights on a technology. Most of you probably associate this type of environment to video games because of their really close look and feel. Well the look and feel of this technology might likely resemble games but Virtual Worlds are 3-dimensional digital environments which support the interactions among individuals through the use of avatars. One the most prominent example is SL but VWs are not just about gaming, there are several platforms allowing their use use for business purposes. Several examples What are the characteristics in terms of value addedInteractivePlayfulAim to create an experience on a shared a space conveying for many type of interactions
  • EU Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry investment on User innovationFree circulation of goods and but difficulties in reaching the market and effectively collaborateUser InnovationA company pursuing user innovation, it’s actively engaged in involving the users as part of the product life cycle, leveraging his/her knowledge to co-create together new products or services better responding to his needs.
  • I would like to introduce you to one of this application of VWs for business purposes, associate with the deployment of a user innovation process supported by virtual world technology. The business case is RunAlong.se a Swedish web startup active in the development of a web community for runners. The peculiarity about this venture is the approach taken by Heidi the entrepreneur behind RunAlong that decided to build the community with a user driven innovation approach. Initially she organized workshop here in Stockholm aiming to involve potential users in the design of he community. She organized in total 3 sessions, but soon enough she realized the opportunities of expanding her venture outside the Sweden. However, in her situation of startup this represented a challenging goal. This is when she contacted us and she gladly accepted to explore the opportunity of moving the workshops within the Virtual worlds. Specifically we used 2nd Life, where we developed…But let’s take a look to the workshop area we designed and briefly going through the activities we have been performing, this to show you the potential of this environments.
  • As I described so far, the numerous experiences it might appear that everything just works perfectly but this would be rather biased because as directly experimented, still today several challenges are still present.But as you can see the challenges highlighted is just matter of time but will be overcome by mostly technological improvements and the raise of new generations which have been growing up with this same technology and will hardly experience the learning curve that many people have to face nowadays approaching this technologies.
  • I would like to introduce you to one of this application of VWs for business purposes, associate with the deployment of a user innovation process supported by virtual world technology. The business case is RunAlong.se a Swedish web startup active in the development of a web community for runners. The peculiarity about this venture is the approach taken by Heidi the entrepreneur behind RunAlong that decided to build the community with a user driven innovation approach. Initially she organized workshop here in Stockholm aiming to involve potential users in the design of he community. She organized in total 3 sessions, but soon enough she realized the opportunities of expanding her venture outside the Sweden. However, in her situation of startup this represented a challenging goal. This is when she contacted us and she gladly accepted to explore the opportunity of moving the workshops within the Virtual worlds. Specifically we used 2nd Life, where we developed…But let’s take a look to the workshop area we designed and briefly going through the activities we have been performing, this to show you the potential of this environments.
  • To conclude I would like to summarize the potential implications of using virtual worlds for business purposes, we can say that they present high potential for reduction concerning traveling as well as the capability of reusing the “infrastructures” realized as many time as required at no additional costs.Such environment disclose opportunities of performing activities that would be impossible to plan in reality or would suffer of enormous financial and resource costs in real world.The use of a common environment supports effective collaborations among sparsely located teams, especially when performing activities which requires the interactions among several people and implies creativity.Virtual worlds provide the opportunity for businesses to have a place where the business might take place which is loosely coupled with the phisical location of the physical actors because the avatar take on this role.
  • Virtual worlds a new approach to innovation and growth for smes in the eu

    1. 1. Virtual Worlds:A new approach to innovation and growth for SMEs in the EU<br />12th SNEE Conference – Mölle<br />May 21, 2010<br />EliaGiovacchini<br />Robin Teigland<br />Thomas Kohler<br />Remko Helms<br />
    2. 2. Agenda<br />Virtual Worlds (VWs)<br />SMEs in Europe <br />User Innovation<br />Business Case: RunAlong<br />Implication for European SMEs<br />NVWN<br />
    3. 3. Virtual Worlds<br /><ul><li>3 dimensional digital environments
    4. 4. Offer spatial experience
    5. 5. MNCs and educational institutions most active
    6. 6. Different applications:
    7. 7. Training
    8. 8. Recruitment
    9. 9. Simulation
    10. 10. Meeting</li></li></ul><li>Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Europe<br />99% of the European economy<br />EU one single market but SMEs internationalization is challenged by:<br /><ul><li>Limited financial resources
    11. 11. Diversity among the different markets</li></ul>40% of products/services are not successful<br />
    12. 12. User Innovation<br /><ul><li>Delivers superior innovations
    13. 13. Products are likely to be more successful
    14. 14. Costly to pursue</li></li></ul><li>Business Case:<br />Swedish web start-up<br />Launched in Summer 2009<br />User driven development approach<br />Aiming to internationalize in the EU area<br />Limited resources<br />
    15. 15. Business Case<br />
    16. 16. Business Case<br />Participants<br />Number: 22 <br />Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, The Netherlands, UK<br />Mainly academics<br />Findings:<br />VWs enable knowledge exchange among disperse locations about local markets<br />VWs are supportive of ideation processes<br />User inexperience in using VWs and technology hurdles might affect the overall users’ experience and participation<br />
    17. 17. Implication for European SMEs<br />Improves access to sparse market knowledge<br />A new approach to user innovation and co-creation<br />A viable approach for collaboration among different SMEs active in different countries<br />Opportunity to limits costs for collaboration<br />
    18. 18. www.nordicworlds.net<br />#NVWN<br />SL: Evan Adder<br />Twitter: @eliagh<br />Email: elia.giovacchini@hhs.se<br />

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