Innovation partnerships

Companies open up the market of "smart city"

Through this innovation partnership, companies strengthen their national and international competitiveness in the smart city market. Experienced experts from Morgenstadt are constantly assisting industry network members in the definition of projects, acquisition of financing as well as developing and managing local innovation ecosystem.

Morgenstadt innovation partnerships generate visibility for the company and position it ahead of the pack in the market. Expert knowledge concerning technologies and digital business models, direct access to decision-makers of lighthouse cities throughout Europe and an application-orientated approach makes the Morgenstadt innovation partnership a successful model.

Morgenstadt innovation partnerships have already been established with frontrunning companies such as Bosch, OSRAM, DOW Chemicals, INRIX, EnBW, Cadfem, VirtualCity Systems, Malik, IKEA, Esri, SAP, Drees&Sommer and many others.


© Fraunhofer IAO

Why innovation partnerships?


Companies throughout the world face challenges related to entering the market of the smart city. No cities are the same; they are made up of many constantly transforming areas and actors, creating very unique institutional frameworks. Combined with the dynamism of the smart city market itsself, cities can be difficult environments for companies to navigate.

Cities have an increasing demand for clean technologies, infrastructures and digital services, but are often limited by procurement procedures; length project initiation processes and complex political environments complicate interventions.

Ubiquitous digitalization and its manifestation in the city challenge the companies to rethink their own technology fields and products. A traditional product producer might become the provider of a digital network, while linear value chains tend toward circularity formed around the provision of services.

The value of data as a resource is particularly relevant in the urban context, presenting enormous opportunities paired with new challenges for companies. Nowhere else are customers better connected than within cities. But nowhere else are the requirements concerning data security, open interfaces and data exchange so strict.

Companies that ignore these challenges will be left behind, while those adjusting themselves and contributing to addressing these challenges proactively can transform them into their own strengths and pull away from the pack.

Morgenstadt innovation partnerships – how does this work?


The Morgenstadt innovation partnership establishes a connection between a company and one Fraunhofer institute representative of the innovation network »Morgenstadt«. In doing so bilateral targets are arranged which correspond to the needs of the company (e.g. development of a smart city organisation strategy, common acquisition of projects, support with the impetus of innovative projects in municipalities, location of own projects within the segment city etc.).

During several innovation workshops, a Fraunhofer team elaborates together with the company a catalogue of targets for the innovation partnership. Thereby needs and potentials can be clarified and adjusted together with Fraunhofer experts.

The catalogue of targets includes measures of high priority, which facilitate a better market position of the company in the segment of smart/sustainable city.

Over the following months, the Fraunhofer institute supports the company in implementing the measures into concrete innovation projects through bundling the Morgenstadt resources and providing access to an international network. During the process, technological expertise, support of business model development and the potential for funding provision will be provided.

Regular workshops and an active exchange with frontrunner partners either from cities, research or industry within the Morgenstadt network meetings lead to anchoring the projects in a wider European context.


Innovation partnership process

Morgenstadt Innovation Partnerships – what is the result?


Morgenstadt innovation partnerships will facilitate development of effective strategies and projects with cities and municipalities in Europe and world-wide. This provides an important entry point, boosting the image of the company as a frontrunner in terms of promoting smart and sustainability urban development. In the long term, Morgenstadt innovation partnerships support companies in transforming their processes and structures for moving on with the dynamic smart city market as a basis for future-proof business development.


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