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European Workplace Innovation Network
Second quarter bulletin | June 2017

EUWIN was established by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and is now managed by TNO and Workplace Innovation Europe

Welcome to EUWIN second quarter bulletin, June 2017
In this issue

Editorial: A new Dortmund-Brussels Paper on workplace innovation?

In 2012, a group of leading researchers and policymakers from across Europe met in Dortmund to consider the importance of workplace innovation. The result was the Dortmund Declaration, calling on national and EU-level policymakers to recognise workplace innovation as a vital component of economic and social policy. The Declaration was subsequently refined and endorsed by a second meeting in Brussels, and was widely acclaimed as the Dortmund-Brussels Position Paper on Workplace Innovation.

Instigated by the European Commission in 2013, EUWIN became the embodiment of the Paper’s aspirations and, after four and a half years, continues to drive the movement towards healthier, more productive workplaces.

With this lesson in mind, it is clear that the EUWIN community needs to keep pressing policy makers to support workplace innovation.

Peter Totterdill

Steven Dhondt

Read more 

Keynote Interview with Bengt-Åke Lundvall

The Learning Economy

Bengt-Åke Lundvall is an emeritus professor in economics at the Department of Business and Management at Aalborg University. Lundvall's research is organised around a broad set of issues related to the innovation system (a concept he created in 1985) and the learning economy. He was involved in the preparation and follow up of the Lisbon Strategy 2000 and onwards.

In close collaboration with Christopher Freeman, Bengt-Åke Lundvall developed the idea of innovation as an interactive process, and the concept of National System of Innovation. In the beginning of the nineties he developed the idea of "the learning economy" in collaboration with Björn Johnson.

According to research carried by Fagerberg & Verspagen on innovation studies, Lundvall is number 4 in "the most important sources of scholarly inspiration" (after Schumpeter, Nelson, and Lundvall's mentor Freeman).

Source: Wikipedia

Peter Totterdill

Bengt-Åke Lundvall

Read and download the full interview 

Failing Better: Workplace innovation and improvement in public services in Scotland

A history of the workplace in Scotland is long overdue. It deserves a broad scope, encompassing Scotland’s pivotal role in the industrialisation and deindustrialisation of Britain from the struggle for workers control on Red Clydeside to UCS and the Right to Work.

In recent times, the history would examine a deepening furrow of workplace activity and progress in public services. This short article is not that history. It seeks to capture only a moment in this long journey and to draw some lessons for today for innovation and improvement in public services. These fragments, spanning my time as Permanent Secretary in the Scottish Government 2010-15 are set against a wider frame of public service reform in which Scotland pioneered a new approach.

Sir Peter Housden

Read more 

. . . and there’s more about workplace innovation in Scotland!

Find out:

• How a young engineer saved the day in Scotland’s last steel-making company

• How to redesign a factory using cardboard and pipe cleaners

• Why Scotland’s policymakers lead the way

• About the Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme

• Why Scotland has a special relationship with the Basque Country


Gipuzkoa Workplace Innovation

A Series of Dialogues

Promoted by the Territorial Government of Gipuzkoa (Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa) and Sinnergiak (University of the Basque Country), the Series of Dialogues held during May 2017 took place in Donostia-San Sebastian (Basque Country, Spain). These five consecutive dialogue-based conferences brought together over 10 experts from across Europe to share their experiences, learn from another and debate the future development of work organisation, participation and continuous improvement.

Each of five meetings was structured around expert presentations and interactive dialogues based on semi-structured and open questions, designed to allow all participants to engage in practical discussion.

Egoitz Pomares
Sinnergiak, Spain

Read more and watch all the videos 

EUWIN Portugal

Exchanging lessons about workplace innovation

On 1st June, the EUWIN team worked with some 60 Portuguese professionals to identify the key drivers and resources needed to improve the take up of workplace innovation in Portugal.

Edwin Van Vlierberghe (Bombardier), Ton Driessen (RESATO) and António Conde (iPlanus) all helped participants to understand how workplace innovation can boost the performance and competitiveness of their organisations.

The following report shows how EUWIN’s Portuguese partners plan to take workplace innovation to more and more companies.

Jorge Coelho
IPBPM, Portugal

Read more 

Reflections on working life research in Sweden

Institutional transformation, current policies and new networks

Kenneth’s article for the EUWIN Bulletin reflects on governance, financing and current policies and programmes on working life research in Sweden. It starts by focusing the background of working life research, institutional transformations and then describes funding organisation, governmental policies and initiatives as well as networking in the research community.

Kenneth Abrahamsson is Adjunct Professor in Human Works Science, Luleå University of Technology, and senior consultant in the Swedish network for promoting sustainable work, part of EU Horizon 2020.

Kenneth Abrahamson
Luleå University of Technology

Read more 

On the relationship between the work environment and innovative work behaviour

Innovation is a comprehensive and complex concept, and while it promises many benefits for those that strive towards it, one could be forgiven for being somewhat puzzled. It is therefore important to offer a clear definition. In the present article, the focus is at the individual level, where we have what is known as innovative work behaviour (IWB). To say that it is important to encourage employees to reach their maximum innovative potential would be an understatement.

Vlad Dediu
PhD Student, University of Nottingham

Download the article 

Workplace innovation presented in Slovenia

On 16 June the Ministry of ‘Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities’ of the Republic of Slovenia organised an international conference ‘Occupational Safety and Health in a Changing World of Work’, in collaboration with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). The coordinator, Ms Vladka Komel, had asked me (as a representative of EUWIN) to organise a session on workplace innovation. The idea behind this invitation was that extending occupational safety and health to ‘wellbeing at work’ is beneficial for employees as well as organisations.

Frank Pot
EUWIN, Leiden University

Read more 

New Eurofound Report

Innovative changes in European Companies

Innovation is an important driver of improved competitiveness, productivity and growth potential. This report explores which workplace practices have the strongest links to innovative company behaviour, looking at innovation in the form of new or significantly changed products or processes, new or improved marketing methods, and organisational change. It also explores links between innovation and company performance and workplace well-being, and examines the role of social dialogue in enhancing performance, well-being and innovation. The use of monitoring instruments for internal quality and external developments turned out to be among the strongest determinants of overall innovation; the degree of workers’ autonomy was another important factor.

The probability of innovation is boosted when strong work organisation structures are combined with direct employee participation – for instance, involvement in solving problems or improving the quality of production.

Download the report 

Special Issue of EWOP In-Practice

Special Issue on Workplace Innovation, Volume 1, 2017

The six articles included in Volume 1 of this Special Issue represent a multi-disciplinary collection that combines theory, empirical research and practice. As such, the articles draw on a variety of disciplines (e.g., work an organizational psychology, sociology), showcase a range of different types of contributions (e.g., reviews, empirical papers based on survey research, international case studies, practical design approaches, opinion pieces) and settings (e.g., various European countries).

Guest Editor: Diana Rus
Creative Peas, The Netherlands

Read more 

European Journal for Workplace Innovation

A Very Special Issue

Many EUWIN members will remember Allan Larsson as Director-General for Employment and Social Affairs in the European Commission when the Green Paper "Partnership for a New Organisation of Work" was published in 1997. This provided a policy framework which encouraged research and practical interventions concerning work organisation and workplace innovation.

Today we await the announcement of new policies and programmes from the Commission. Allan Larsson is personal adviser to the European Commission President, with a focus on the European Social Pillar.

In his individual capacity, Larsson has written the major paper "How to understand the times we are living through", which is the basis of a "Very Special Issue" 3.1 of the European Journal of Workplace Innovation. which is about to appear. In contrast to the Green Paper focus on companies and organisations in the European Union, which was growing in relative stability, the new paper seeks to make sense of the "nightmare scenario" which has now arrived. Larsson presents a macroeconomic analysis, deeply critical of neoliberalism, and covering events up to Brexit and the Trump Presidency.

What does this mean for work and society in the European Union? Allan Larsson does not set out new policies in this paper. He leaves that task to the next generation, including EUWIN members and EJWI readers.

We hope to publish your responses in future issues of EJWI, which is free, open access, and online at

Richard Ennals
Professor, Linnaeus University, Sweden

You can access the journal here 

Berlin 9/2016

Discussion about work, health and caregiving, spatial development, energy and climate change

Work, health and caregiving, spatial development, energy and climate change: these topics show in a good way the versatility of the congress “Innovation for Society – New Ways and Methods for the Development of the Potential of Social Innovations”, which took place in September 2016 in the “Umweltforum” in Berlin. Now, a free brochure with a lot of insights in this successful and productive congress is available.

Social Innovations are getting more and more attention, because more and more people recognise that technical innovations are not enough to master the big challenges of society. Because of this development a few questions about Social Innovations emerge: What are the characteristics of Social Innovations? In which sphere of activities and in which subject areas can we see examples of Social innovation? Which ways and methods for the development of the potential of Social Innovations can we see and what is the function of civil society and science in this process?

During the congress “Innovation for Society – New Ways and Methods for the Development of the Potential of Social Innovations” on 20th-21st September 2016 in Berlin, more than 200 participants as well as experts from the fields of science, practice, politics and civil society came together for an intensive exchange of experiences where these questions were discussed. The most important results of the presentations, thematic session, worldcafés, contributions and discussions were put together in a brochure.

Ralf Kopp
TU Dortmund

  Read more (in German) 


How German Unions get members up-to-date about Industry 4.

In this film, the German trade union IG Metall shows how it collaborates with university groups to train their members in companies about Industry 4.0. An example how to get trade unionists better informed about how technology influences work!

Fredy Peltzer
ANV, Netherlands

  Watch the video on YouTube 

Industry 4.0

COCOP project combines technical, environmental and business objectives with social objectives

The objective of COCOP is to define, design and implement a concept that integrates existing industrial control systems with efficient data management and optimisation methods and provides means to monitor and control large industrial production processes. The vision is: complex process industry plants will be optimally run by the operators with the guidance of a coordinating, real-time optimisation system. Therefore COCOP will combine the technological development with a social innovation process of co-creation and co-development.

Its social objectives are:
• To improve the working conditions of plant operators by developing new process-control tools
  which support operating work by providing new ways to control the process. Learning and
  development of competences will also be addressed.
• To strengthen the societal and personnel development perspective by including the designed
  technological innovation in a concept of a social-innovation process. The development
  process will be integrated into a broader company strategy. It will do this by integrating all
  relevant stakeholders and end users, and thinking of the implementation and impact right
  from the beginning of the process.
• To strengthen the competitiveness of the European process and automation industry,
  resulting in job retention, exportable high-value IT products for the industry and the
  corresponding jobs, and wellbeing in Europe.

Antonius Schröder
TU Dortmund University

  Read more 

Save the Date
Keep up to date with EUWIN events

12-13      July  2017

London, UK

Transforming Culture at GE Mining - 24 hours of knowledge sharing and out-of-the-box thinking on how do you create workplace cultures that help attract and retain the best talent. Book here.

16-18      August  2017

Turku, Finland

WORK2017 CONFERENCE - an international forum for the exchange of research and experience among researchers and practitioners in the field of work and working life. More details here.

7-8      September  2017

Trondheim, Norway

The 21st International Workshop on Teamworking (IWOT). Organised by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Details here.

13      September  2017

Antwerp,  Belgium

Day of the Industry - Workplace Innovation in the Flemish manufacturing industry. For more details contact: Steven Dhondt

18-19      September  2017

Sigtuna,  Sweden

ProWorkNet - a network for research of prospective data on work and health, is having its yearly work conference. The topic is how the use the organisation. For more details contact: Steven Dhondt

19-20      September  2017

Tallinn, Estonia

Organisation Design at Proekspert - Proekspert’s Journey to Success: winners of the European Excellence Awards HR 2017 in the category Work 4.0 - work of the future! More info here.

24-26      October  2017

Brussels, Belgium

SI-DRIVE Final Conference. A separate workshop will be held on workplace innovation. For more info contact Peter Oeij.

1      December  2017

Mechelen, Belgium

CORTEXS Final Conference. Workplace innovation concepts for integrated care in Flanders. For more info contact Ezra Dessers.

TBC  2018

Brighton, UK

Fresh Thinking Labs Summer School on Workplace Innovation 2018. For more info contact Peter Totterdill.

20-23 June  2018

Rekyavik, Iceland

EURAM2018 - Workplace Innovation Panel. For more info contact Peter Oeij.


Find out more about our events

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