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28 November 2013

Innovation insights into our Early Stage Researchers Colloquium 2013

This blogpost gives an overview of our Early Stage Researchers Colloquium sessions within the Internet-enabled innovation stream. The sessions covered exciting topics in the fields of Open Science, Open Hardware, Entrepreneurship and Crowdsourcing.

#Session 1: Open Science and Open Hardware

In this session, Sarah Hugelier, Maxi Kindling and Christoph Schneider shed light on the topics of Open Science and Open Hardware. Both are exciting new research fields that certainly share common ontological premises and force researchers to question established research practices, organizational models and the scale and boundaries of collaboration. The talks provided a look into a mulit-faceted new research field.

Open Scientific Data for all? A Legal Blueprint, Sara Hugelier

Sara Hugelier, doctoral researcher at the Interdisciplinary Institute for Law & Technology at the KU Leuven, presented a legal blueprint for open scientific data based on the principle of open access. In her talk, she underlined the importance of the open access principles and the need of appropriate legal frameworks for scientific progress. Her blueprint of a legal framework tries to consider the two major legal challenges for data-sharing in the field of research: the protection of intellectual propery rights and the privacy of research subjects. In Sarah’s opinion, much depends on the design of the databases in particular the licencing framework for databases and the protection of copyrights. (Presentation)

Open Research Data for Re-Use, Maxi Kindling

Maxi Kindling is a doctoral researcher at the Institute for Library and Information Science at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In her PhD project, Maxi Kindling concentrates on the role of data infrastructure for data-reuse. In her talk, she outlined the important role of Library and Information Sciences when it comes to effective data re-use. Information scientists face challenges when it comes to novel structural, organizational and technical requirements. Her PhD thesis aims to identify different types of effective re-use of open research data based on an empirical study. (Presentation)

From Software via Hardware, Christoph Schneider

Christoph is a doctoral researcher at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology. He started his presentation with some insights into the open source movement. According to Christoph, there are three waves of open source: software, immaterial things (images, blogs, etc.) and material things / hardware (RepRap, Ardunio, etc.). Open source licences come down to a free use and modification as long as the newly created product remains under the same licence. By reference to the example of a laser cutter, he explained different challenges of an open source approach, e.g. the inclusion of material objects into open source. He concluded that there are three ontological shifts. First, there is a shift from a closed to an open organization model. Second, instead of money, knowledge will be the dominant capital in society. Third, unified objects become modular prototypes. In Christoph’s opinion, “we might be entering a techno-science society that puts technology and science in its center”. (Presentation)

#Session 2: Entrepreneurship: What are the hindering and promoting factors of internet-enabled Entrepreneurship?

In the session “Entrepreneurship: What are the hindering and promoting factors of Internet-enabled entrepreneurship?” Janet Merkel, Dennys Antonialli and Marie-Luise Groß introduced the topic from a sociological, legal and economic perspective.

Nourishing the Scene: The Role of Co-Working Spaces for Internet-enabled Entrepreneurship, Janet Merkel

Janet is a post-doc at the Hertie School of Governance. Her research focuses on coworking spaces. According to Janet, coworking spaces are sprouting up around the world and are often characterized as flexible and shared work settings in an open floor plan where mobile workers come together in a community to work in a cooperative athmosphere. Her presented research study is based on 20 preliminary interviews with hosts of coworking spaces. This research led her to four hypotheses, which can be summarized under the heading “Collaborative Strangers”: coworking spaces are spaces of „(re)organization of knowledgework“, are “learningspaces”, are a “new innovation model for distributed, inter-organizational, collaborative knowledgework“ and, lastly, are “urban interfaces”. (Presentation)

Data Protection Beyond the Books: An Empirical Study about its Effects on Competitiveness and Business Strategy in Germany, Dennys Antonialli

Dennys is an associate researcher at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. He started his presentation by explaning the relevance and the objctives of his research. He found inspiration by regulatory frameworks of data protection that vary from country to country. While some nations have enacted Privacy Laws, establishing a specific body of data protection rules, the United States adopted a self-regulatory regime, giving more discretion to online companies, which design their own privacy policies. It has been argued that entrepreneurs face a bigger challenge to monetize their businesses in countries where data protection rules have been enacted. Based on a survey, Dennys wants to examine the influence of the German national data protection law on the competitiveness on German companies. (Presentation)

The Transformation of a Hidden Industry: Freelance Translators and the Social Web, Marie-Luise Groß

Marie-Luise is a PhD candidate at the University of Vienna. In her research, she focuses on the industry of translators and observes their role in entrepreneurship. She explained, for example, how 80 % of all translators are “flexible”, “hard-working” and “risk-taking” freelancers with high qualifications.  According to Marie-Luise, the social web, suprisingly, has negative effects for translators: the dominance of translation agencies on online marketplaces, an increased price competition, a decreasing quality of translation and a lower barrier for unexperienced translators are only a few examples for negative aspects. Using a methodological framework of storytelling and a social network analysis, Marie-Luise aims to analyze the question of why a nascent professional translator decides to enter the market via professional associations or via online communities. (Presentation)

#Session 3: Internet-enabled innovation: New forms of corporate  goods, communication and interaction

The speakers of the third session presented a manifold and interesting repertoire of research projects. The topics revolved around a world of networks, free producers, influencers and a new relationship between traditional hierarchies and the users.

Who is in the Crowd? Building a Relationship between Artists and Contributors on a Crowdfunding Platform. Patryk Galuszka

Patryk is an associate professor at the University of Lodz. In his research, Patryk focuses on the Polish crowdfunding platform MegaTotal. This platform is a collective effort of individuals who pool their money to support artists. Crowdfunding has its origins in the model of crowdsourscing. Patryk analyzes the relationship and the motivational factors of contributors, artists and fans in online communities. Another interesting aspect is the business model of MegaTotal, as the platform treats funds as investments. Early contributors are able to benefit from future contributions by other community members. Patryk bases his study on in-depth interviews with artists who gather funds on MegaTotal and a netnography conducted among online communities of contributors.

Agenda-Setting, Two-Step Flow and the World of Tech Blogs: The Role of Tech Bloggers in the Flow of Information, Nirit Weiss-Blatt

Nirit is a PhD student at the University of Haifa. She presented her dissertation research about the role of tech bloggers in the flow of information. Her study offers a bridge between the theories of Agenda-Setting and Two-Step-Flow, in order to understand the influence of bloggers in their role as opinion leaders. Using specific keywords she compares main topics of traditional news with the main topics in tech blogs. At the current stage of her research, it’s too early to conclude whether journalists adopt the issue salience assigned by tech bloggers, or vice versa.

Collaborative Digital Platforms: a study of company-consumer networks in Brazil, Dora Kaufman

Dora Kaufman is a PhD candidate at the Atopos research center in digital networks at the Sao Paolo University in Brazil. The purpose of her empirical research is to identify how collaborative practices between consumers and companies were assimilated by the Brazilian market and to generate a typology for those collaborative digital platforms. Dora argued that companies tend to approach a digital environment by «analogical thinking». That’s why she decided to investigate what is happening in the Brazilian market. Her key aspects for investigating collaborative digital platforms are the degree of interaction intensity, ease of participation, quantitative relevance, feedback, relevance of their content and the presence of any collaborative practices. A very interesting aspect of her presentation was the example of Fiat, in which the company invited consumers to participate in the design process of the Fiat Mio concept car. (Presentation)

This post is part of a weekly series of articles by doctoral canditates of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. It does not necessarily represent the view of the Institute itself. For more information about the topics of these articles and asssociated research projects, please contact

This post represents the view of the author and does not necessarily represent the view of the institute itself. For more information about the topics of these articles and associated research projects, please contact

Stefan Stumpp, Dr.

Ehem. Assoziierter Forscher: Innovation & Entrepreneurship

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