Junior Research Group Co-Creation

Junior Research Group on Co-Creation

  • Who engages in co-creation processes with firms?
  • What are the determinants of successful co-creation processes of firms?
  • What are the impacts of co-creation processes on firm performance, the economy, and society?
  • How can policy interventions support, and regulate co-creation processes?

What is co-creation?

From the perspective of firms, co-creation of innovation describes the utilization of the expertise from external stakeholders as a resource for their innovation activities. However, whereas the utilization of external expertise via external knowledge sourcing traditionally depicts a unidirectional flow of knowledge from external stakeholders to firms, the utilisation of external expertise via co-creation explicitly depicts a multidirectional engagement of all stakeholders. More precisely, within the process of co-creating innovation, stakeholders jointly define their objectives and share their resources to innovate.

The external stakeholders of firms vary. Most prominently, firms engage in the process of co-creation with customers, public authorities, scientific institutes, or partners from industry. Examples are the digital platform Co-Create IKEA on which IKEA communicates with its customers to improve their product and service portfolio, the EU-funded pre-commercial procurement of an early warning system for the deterioration of patients’ health from CheckPoint Cardio, the foundation of ISTARI.AI and its on-going partnership with ZEW, and the joint development of the COVID-19 vaccine COMIRNATY by BIONTECH and Pfizer.


Research on co-creation is still limited, even though case studies increasingly demonstrate its significance in fostering the creation of knowledge through its multidirectional exchange and its ability to create additional social value by addressing the preferences of all stakeholders. ZEW’s Junior Research Group “Co-Creation” aims to add to the quantitative evidence on the prevalence of co-creation processes, as well as their societal effects. Furthermore, the group seeks to extend the resurging political discussion on knowledge transfer by highlighting the importance of multidirectional knowledge flows between heterogeneous stakeholders. Specifically, it plans to provide policymakers with reliable measures of the distribution of co-creation in a first step. Furthermore, in a second step, the group intends to position itself as a significant player in the future evaluation of an increasing number of policies entailing co-creation.

Current projects


Bastian Krieger

Dr. Bastian Krieger

Head of the Junior Research Group "Co-Creation" Email Bastian.Krieger@zew.de Phone +49 (0)621 1235-376
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