This UIS interface schema is about collaborative product / service development between universities and industry, while engaging society in terms of end-users (or future users). University students can play the role of end-users (not just of product developers); other communities can be engaged alternatively. Engaging civil society enables people to experience real product design processes and contribute to future products. User engagement can take place online powered by an ICT-enabled co-creation platform, or offline in workshops/hackathons, or in a combination of online and offline activities.
The benefits of co-creation for industry can be the sourcing of innovative ideas, increasing the match of future needs of society and research, maximising the relevancy and practical applicability of the latter, as well as more indirectly discovering new talent for such future product development. Furthermore, universities can benefit by becoming aware of relevant industrial / market applications with which they can align their research efforts, consequently increasing their exploitation potential.
Challenges for setting up these schemas may appear on both sides: from one side, industry must provide sufficient vision, commitment, guidance and resources; from the other side, end-users must be well-targeted and engaged appropriately.