Participatory methods

SHOWCASE Collaborative Business Model

TITLE: Collaborative Business Model Design for E-Mobility


FHV pilot project provides a collaborative business model platform that sets up methodology and defines experimental activites for organizing an open innovation business model design for managing innovation in the field of e-mobility. Solutions to challenges placed by urban mobility are percieved in the context of network collaboration – quadruple helix innovation, ensuring a collaborative co-design between industry, academy, government and citizens for delivering innovative e-mobility services. For this purpose, the model identifies phases, main actors, their roles and activities for collaborative innovation design.

The model entails a set of tools applied in the context of participatory labs, aimed at managing stakeholders' dialogue and innovation delivery. In this regard, FHV develops solutions based on a sequential approach that supports stakeholder engagement from the beginning of the process, enabling stakeholders to co-design smart city e-mobility services by developing skills, knowledge and techniques for collaborating and coproducing. Thus, the proposed framework supports design and analysis of multiple steps in stakeholder engagement that leads to successful co-production and a final open innovation business model for e-mobility.

Participatory tools applied in the model:

  • Crowdsourcing
  • Gamification
  • Motivation
  • Storytelling and Qualification

Supportive participatory tools applied:

Brainstorming, focus group discussions, open-ended stories, and participatory presentations.


FHV project team identified the main group of participants involved in the collaborative business model - Students, industry partners, local authorities and citizens, who engage and add value specific to the previously defined role in the innovation process. The first group reached was an electricity provider and a local e-car supplier, who after the pilot project presentations further proposed potential network channels for reaching already existing end-users. To reach potential users, the project team further contacted an NGO and activated FHV’s internal departments, responsible for additional promotion and reach to relevant stakeholders. Additionally, other researchers, students, and project partners from previous collaborations, served as a channel to extend and reach audiences. 

The structure of the CBM approach that supports participation of diverse stakeholders entails the following procedure:

  • Stakeholder identification
  • Stakeholder enrolment
  • Stakeholder dialogue
  • Stakeholder innovation system

The main communication ICT tool used for communication between stakeholders were social media networks and institutional web pages.


The CBM implementation entails two participatory laboratories for each test case-scenario, as well as a number of stakeholder-meetings. In this regard, FHV implemented the 1st test-case scenario - E-mobility charging infrastructure solutions for future mobility, and the 2nd case scenario - E-car sharing innovation services. The implementation phases:

  1. Informative student-academy-industry session - During the concrete academy courses students cooperate with industry representatives, define issues and develop initial ideas to meet requirements, in the industry-related and social context.
  2. Civil society informative event - Citizens are involved in the initial phase of the CBM innovation, at which their level of knowledge on the specific topic is tested. This phase refers to the participatory lab “Long Night of Participation” and “Project Marketplace II”, for the 1st and 2nd test-case scenarios, respectively.
  3. First industry-student meeting – The goal of the stakeholder meeting is to deliver the first draft on the collaborative business model that will be base for innovative and participative co-design between stakeholders involved.
  4. All stakeholders workshop - Academy facilitates workshops and participatory events at which all actors are involved in the innovation co-design. In this context, the participatory labs organized involved “Project Marketplace” and “Business Bodensee Forum” for managing innovation design solutions in the 1st and the 2nd test-case scenario, respectively.
  5. Final academy-industry meeting – Presentation of the final design of the collaborative business model, based on integration of results from previous phases.


The pilot project outputs correspond to development of two business models for e-mobility:

  1. E-mobility charging infrastructure for future mobility;
  2. E-car sharing business model.

The CBM platform, and its execution throughout particular participatory labs and stakeholder meetings, served to formalize final business model drafts. Subsequently, these business models aim to trigger potential spin-off projects and potential start-ups in the field of e-mobility, adding up to sustainability of participatory solutions for urban mobility.

The CBM implementation and organized participatory labs provide data and present schemes for applying particular pricing and demand strategies to business model designs. Additionally, these events served for identifying main geographical areas for execution of such business models. These models provide solutions to inter modal transport chains for the future of e-mobility, but also opens up follow-up opportunities for new EU projects. In summary, both business models serve as a trigger for improvements of urban mobility sector, and e-mobility services in a way that creates a win-win strategy for all actors involved.