Collaborative innovation training

A set of training programmes to build capacity for collaborative innovation

Throughout the RiConfigure project, collaborative innovation has been closely followed, harvesting experience from social experiments, comparative analysis and dialogue events with innovation practitioners and policy makers. With valuable learning from these experiences, the Studies Centre on Science, Communication and Society of the University Pompeu Fabra (CSS-UPF, Spain) and Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft (LBG, Austria) have designed and developed three training programmes: one Open Online Course (“Inviting civil society on stage“), one workshop (“How to kick-start a collaboration“) and one intensive course (“Tackling grand challenges with collaborative action“).

The courses address actors, managers or representatives from the four sectors of society interested or involved in innovation processes. Moreover, they are partially inspired and based on the trainings created by the project “Higher Education Institutions and Responsible Research and Innovation” (HEIRRI), a project coordinated by the CCS-UPF.

Purpose, outcome and content

Building on experience and knowledge, the courses explore a set of aspects that facilitate or hinder collaborative innovations and provide tools, methodologies and strategic guidelines to support the design, implementation and evaluation of quadruple helix collaborations (QHCs) in innovation. This is, collaborations between the four major sectors of society, namely: public sector, industry, academia and civil society. Moreover, the courses provide a platform for networking and for creating alliances with people and institutions with a shared interest into a particular societal issue or grand challenge. The content of the programmes differs in depth and perspective, but all focus on the transversal aspects of QHCs and provide a variety of examples and cases gathered in RiConfigure.

To develop the courses, CSS-UPF and LBG used a pedagogical methodology called the 5E’s Instructional model, which represents five sequential stages of a learning cycle: Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend (or Elaborate), and Evaluate. As part of the different stages there are participatory learning approaches, as Inquiry-based and Problem-based methodologies. For instance, in the open online course, the participants adapt and use personal knowledge and experience in the pursuit of solving an innovation problem. In all cases, the courses couple training situations with real-life practical cases to activate the full range of experience, knowledge and capacities.

The summary of the three courses is provided below:

Summary structure of the three training programmes

Course materials

All the course materials and instructions for trainers are openly available and licensed under CC-BY-4.0, please see the links below. If you have any questions, contact us via

You may download all the materials here.