Communication and Innovation Tools - Group of Activity

This GoA includes the development of tools regarding companies’ communication, innovation and DIS. A fullscale pilot will be prepared for testing the combination of DIS assessment tools and, based on the assessment results, the open innovation methods. All services will have a small-scale test process plan.

Pilots in Communication and Innovation tools

DIS (Distance soft interaction skills) tool is a self-evaluation tool for evaluating remote soft interaction skills as an individual and an organization. DIS-tool is based on theoretical and practical perspectives on valued soft skills that are evaluated in remote business and professional interaction contexts. You respond to a questionnaire where skills are categorized into 14 skill groups. The questionnaire evaluates the skills on two levels: personal and organizational. After filling in the evaluation the users get feedback that is based on the state-of-art theoretical framework. Based on the feedback given in the virtual environment, you can choose which soft interaction skills are most relevant for you in their work and gain insights, guidelines for you or for your enterprise, and links to some additional sources.


DIS-tool aims to develop distance soft interaction skills of individuals and distance co-creation skills of enterprises in the Baltic Sea Region -program countries. You can reflect on their skills and learn new insights as individuals and by developing these capabilities as an enterprise. The main purpose is to organize opportunities to reflect and learn about distance soft and co-creation skills as an enterprise. The skills also contribute to their human-centric innovation capabilities. The pilot users test a tool and get feedback, and the tool is further developed based on user experiences.

We will provide Living Labs (LL) of innovation blueprint for hub’s action model. This blueprint will consist of several parts where the necessary information is presented for the creation of LL in every partner’s area. Also, practical examples and tips for the implementation of a successful LL will be provided. When the blueprint is made, local co-creation LLs will be developed through virtual/onsite/hybrid workshops in at least 3 partner regions. Local LL will be tested and the results used in WP3 to efficiently transfer the solutions online and offline. In this pilot, activities of local LL will be shared to create the hub’s action model online and offline to support the collaboration of participating countries.


Living lab is a physical or virtual space in which to solve societal challenges, especially in urban areas, by bringing together various stakeholders for collaboration and collective ideation. Living Lab is the most prominent concurrent method for stakeholder engagement in innovation ecosystems, typically used for quadruple helix settings. LL are user-centred, open innovation ecosystems based on systematic user co-creation approach, integrating research and innovation processes in real life communities and settings (according to the European Network of Living Labs). Successful innovation development is nowadays dependent on understanding both existing and emerging user needs, through which business opportunities are developed. A living lab is a network that integrates both user cantered research and open innovation.


The LL concept will be used to initially facilitate the creation of services and tools for the DistanceLAB platform. Furthermore, it is expected to remain functional in partners’ regions (operated by partners’ institutions) to gather together stakeholders and facilitate exchange with businesses to support their needs, develop new support services and instruments, as well as to make existing services, tools and platforms more user friendly and accessible.

The idea is to offer micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises a chance to improve their skills in digital tools and technologies. Firstly, online learning courses/webinars will be made available in cooperation with University of Latvia (UL) Microsoft Innovation Centre (MIC) and Latvian Information and Communication Technology Association (LICTA) supported by the Microsoft (MS) and based on the information from MS Learn platform to learn about various digital tools such as MS Power BI, Python and explore Artificial Intelligence (AI) opportunities. Secondly, possibility of using MS Learning Platform will be explored and, if possible, other learning opportunities will be provided. Thirdly, information about the business development programs that MS offers for start-ups and SMEs, such as MS Founders’ Hub (for start-ups) and Partner Ecosystems Activated (for SMEs) will be offered. Fourthly, additional learning opportunities offered by Coursera and other online platforms will be anlysed and useful information for SMEs will be offered.


Online courses aimed at digital skills improvement are becoming more popular and valued by entrepreneurs. Basic digital skills are a necessity for companies to be competitive in the market, and now even more advanced skills in digital tools are required to be successful. The benefits of learning how to use digital tools, such as Power BI and Python:

  • Increased effectiveness of data analysis and visualization;

  • Innovative solution to a problem;

  • Data-driven decision making;

  • Task automatization;

  • Resource optimization;

Business Lab is a process wherein you have the opportunity to collaboratively develop ideas with other organizations from various industries. The process is founded upon the principles of open innovation. Participants are subdivided into smaller groups that convene on a regular basis. During each meeting, our efforts will be grounded in the circumstances of one of the involved companies.


The process is structured, and participants engage in questioning, providing feedback, ideating, evaluating, and selecting ideas for further development within a concept canvas, which is the final result.


Open innovation processes harness the competencies and experiences of different individuals. Expanded perspectives increase the chances of significant breakthroughs where radical and groundbreaking innovation emerges. Business Lab online erases the geographical barriers and enables the collaborative development of new ideas with others.

The general idea is to test several networking services available on the hub developed within WP1. The pilot will include following steps (maybe be adjusted according to partners preferences, results of WP1, etc.):

  • Open call for participating in a set of networking events;

  • Implementation of networking activities/events (it is foreseen to have two types of events: community building and business focused) – up to 6 events, 1 iteration, up to 15 participating companies which have a common connecting point, representing not less than 3 partnership countries;

  • Investigation of the relevance, engagement of the participants, results after networking events (performed by organisers);

  • Implementation of the survey. The survey will include 3 blocks of questions which will evaluate: preparatory stage of the event, the event itself, post-event communication/results;

  • Adjustment of the service concept and events’ methodologies;

  • Feedback collection after a few months or weeks to check the impact and deliver of good practices reports.


The primary idea of the pilot is to test the relevance of the service, the engagement of participants, and the technical aspects of the virtual environment. Additional value of the pilot will be attracting potential long-term users of the platform, building the community, dissemination of the project, and other services available on the hub.