Who's behind it all?

OPEN!NEXT is made up of 19 partners from seven European countries. Our areas of expertise vary: from business and data management to design processes and maker spaces.

We’ve categorized ourselves a little bit so it’s easier to get an overview.

Research partners

Our research partners are here to analyse needs and drive concepts and new approaches.

TU Berlin (Coordinator)

The TU Berlin is one of the leading Technical Universities in Germany (TU9) and has a strong tradition of research and teaching. They bring along their profound knowledge of sustainable product development, process modelling and eco-design; and a particular focus on the hacker movement. In OPEN!NEXT, the TU Berlin also leads the research on enabling Fab Labs to support companies engaging with open source hardware [OSH] to co-develop products and services with makers and their customers.

Read more at tu-berlin.de.

Grenoble Institute of Technology

Grenoble Institute of Technology (GINP) is one of Europe’s leading Institute of Technology. GINP has more than 38 laboratories and is involved in major development projects all over Europe. With great experience in eco-design, sustainable development, collaborative design, open design, and open innovation, G-SCOP (a multi-disciplinary laboratory belonging to GINP) are key actors in OPEN!NEXT and also lead the research on enabling company-community collaboration.

Read more at grenoble-inp.fr.

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG)

HIIG researches the development of the internet from a societal perspective. In OPEN!NEXT, HIIG is responsible for the business models and stakeholder relations. Together with the Danish Design Center, HIIG facilitates the user journey in which the SMEs carry out their prototypical product development.

Read more at hiig.de.

University of Bath

The University of Bath will provide a project status dashboard for SMEs to assess the current state of open-source development (OSD). Their work is expected to advance the larger field of data-driven analysis of product development processes. To ensure the adoption and impact of the project, the University of Bath assumes the lead of OPEN!NEXT dissemination, communication & exploitation.

Read more at bath.ac.uk.

The Zentrum für Soziale Innovation (ZSI)

ZSI is one of Austria’s most prominent applied social science institutes. Their activities are concentrated on the transformation to an information society. ZSI address global issues of fundamental social, political and economic relevance. In OPEN!NEXT, ZSI leads the task of developing an open-source business development framework for maker spaces and fab labs to engage in business collaboration.

Read more at zsi.at.

Fraunhofer Institute of Production Systems and Design Technology (IPK)

Through their business field Virtual Product Creation (VPE), IPK deals with methods for optimization of product creation processes. In OPEN!NEXT, IPK leads the work with Wikifactory and Wikimedia to develop IT solutions that can be directly used by the SMEs, fab labs, individual developers and other members of the open source hardware community.

Read more at ipk.fraunhofer.de.

Practice partners

Our practice partners provide infrastructure support, consulting, and co-facilitation.

ddc logo

DDC – Danish Design Center

As Denmark’s national design center, DDC works to increase the use of design in business. During their REMODEL programme (2017-2018), DDC collaborated with 10 Danish manufacturing companies to create open-source hardware business models in an economically sustainable way. In OPEN!NEXT, DDC will lead the work on initiating and documenting the 18 SME case studies that will demonstrate the potential of OSH. DDC is also in charge of communications.

Read more at ddc.dk

Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE)

WMDE is an independent membership-based non-profit organisation serving as a chapter of the global Wikimedia movement. WMDE has approx. 70,000 members (and growing), and thousands of volunteers which contribute to the German and global Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia, Wikidata, and Wikimedia Commons. In OPEN!NEXT, WMDE, together with Wikifactory and Fraunhofer IPK, support the development of the collaborative engineering infrastructure.

Read more at wikimedia.de.



Wikifactory is the world’s first social product development platform. Focused on the needs of digital fabrication projects, Wikifactory adapts proven agile development tools from the world of open source software to the needs of product development. In OPEN!NEXT, Wikifactory will provide its platform to define production processes, manage supply chains, integrate external software services, and add advanced 3D visualisation.

Read more at wikifactory.com.


Over the past 25 years, Waag has become a platform for public research and experimentation; a breeding ground for cultural and social innovation. It is home to the first EU fab lab and has a strong practice of educating laypeople in the use of technology. In OPEN!NEXT, Waag contributes with its Fab Lab Amsterdam in the pilot tests, engaging a community of makers and stakeholders, and drawing on production facilities in producing prototypes and solutions as part of the SME sprints.

Read more at waag.org.

open source maker


Maker is bringing physical entrepreneurs together and creates connections to established companies. We are supporting the bubbling layer of vigorous people by providing workshop facilities so ideas that are hidden in curly minds can become new products and innovative, crooked, inspiring solutions. We make it easier and more fun to be a physical entrepreneur in Denmark and are pushing the boundaries for innovation and urban production. Maker contributes to OPEN!NEXT as a lab partner and co-creation facility.

Read more at maker-effekt.dk.

Prototypes for Europe e.V.

Prototypes for Europe brings together a collective of experts in design and engineering to work on tech-driven solutions for relevant current and future challenges of European societies. The collective runs rigorous hands-on innovation labs for both public and private partners. In OPEN!NEXT they will act as a lab partner for carrying out a local pilots with SMEs. They will also lead the establishment of an open innovation network in the form of a blueprint of a European alliance of fab labs/makerspaces, called the Open Lab Alliance.

Read more at prototypes.berlin.


Happylab, founded by the INNOC in 2010, is Austria’s first fab lab. Thanks to the combination of professional equipment and low-threshold access, it provides services to about 2,500 regular users. Happylab, located in Vienna, will contribute to OPEN!NEXT by engaging their community of makers and stakeholders, and drawing on production facilities as a resource in producing prototypes and solutions as part of the SME sprints.

Read more at happylab.at.

The SME's

Our small- and medium-sized enterprise partners will extend their business models around open design and serve as real cases during piloting and demonstration phase.

Sono Motors

Sono Motors GmbH is currently developing its first battery-electric vehicle with a Photovoltaics-based range extender, called the Sion. Their goal is to become a global mobility and energy service provider within ten years, hence making a significant contribution to reducing global CO₂ emissions. The company is involved in OPEN!NEXT through co-development and prototyping together with the Fab Lab Berlin.

Read more at sonomotors.com.


OpnTec creates open technologies that benefit customers and society. We are a technology company developing open source software and open hardware products together with a global community from our base in Berlin. OpnTec provides open science and IoT solutions for data collection to empower consumers and industry. OpnTec’s Pocket Science Lab is playing a key role in the open hardware strategy of the company. It can be connected to an array of sensors and extension modules. Our ultimate goal is to create decentralized software and IoT solutions that enable a sustainable circular economy and local production anywhere. Keeping humans in control we develop the tools and AI models to connect people with machines and teams with each other.

Read more at pslab.io.


Stykka is a furniture manufacturing platform that designs high quality furniture and kitchens, tailored to fit the unique needs of their clients in 14 EU countries. The company has opened access to its manufacturing services to the public and ships parts to users through its online laser-cutting services. Their customers can make designs using a building block system and all designs are open source. Stykka is involved in OPEN!NEXT through co-development and prototyping together with the Underbroen makerspace.

Read more at stykka.com.

XYZ Cargo

XYZ Cargo originates from the open source project XYZ Spaceframe Vehicles which was developed Ion Sorvin (N55) and Till Wolfer. They offer a completely new kind of cargo cycles based on an open design that is easy to customize, lightweight, and durable. XYZ Cargo aims for an ultra-local production in a network of urban micro factories. The company is involved in OPEN!NEXT through co-development and prototyping together with the Underbroen makerspace.

Read more at xyzcargo.com.

Fiction Factory

Fiction Factory is a manufacturer of office and shop interiors for international fashion labels like Nike, Urban Outfitters, G-Star, Lacoste, as well as trade fairs throughout Europe. The company employs 45 full-time craftsmen, who are capable of manufacturing just about anything, using almost any material and practically any technique. Fiction Factory pioneered the modular Wikkelhouse that is used as a contemporary office or a holiday house. The company is going to be involved in OPEN!NEXT through co-development and prototyping together with the Fab Lab Amsterdam.

Read more at fictionfactory.nl.


SODAQ is one of the leading open source hardware/software companies in the Netherlands with competences in the environmental internet of things (IoT). The company creates scalable solutions that harness the power of the sun to connect things outdoors. Existing SODAQ platforms are used by many within the maker movement. An example is the Open Source Bicycle Connect Air Quality Monitor. SODAQ has established a community of clients and partners in over 30 countries. The company will be involved through co-development and prototyping together with Fab Lab Amsterdam.

Read more at sodaq.com.