In this work package we map current learning practices in industry and the scholarly state of the art on Network Action learning. The focus will be on the specific practices for Network Action Learning, open process innovation, and other collaborative methods as they relate to Lean manufacturing and Smart technologies and the synergy between the two.  

For the spread of the use of these improvements over enterprises (and studied by HEIs), learning with and between other enterprises (Networks) are the best possible solution. Also the development of new knowledge and to accelerate innovation, network learning is necessary. The project partners (both enterprises and HEIs) have experience with learning in networks. But an effective framework and methodology for network action learning for specific improvements in the use of smart technologies related to Lean manufacturing processes is missing for learning, teaching, research and innovation processes.  

A threefold approach will be followed to map the state of the art: We will (1) perform a literature study to explore the scientific knowledge, (2) use the results of previous projects of the knowledge alliances of the EU under the Erasmus+ framework and learn from experiences in other fields of study.  

To collect best practices in industry, we will research network learning experiences in our own network(s), like (1) learning activities and knowledge exchange between HEIs and enterprises and (2) between our industry network partners. We will also collect best practices of other network learning examples outside our partners and partner networks.  

Ultimately, this work package will answer the questions:  

  • How do enterprises and HEIs bring together people (employees, partners, suppliers, students) in an open exchange of problems and ideas? 
  • To what extent have they established mechanisms for collaboratively testing out new Lean methods and technologies in practice and learn from them? 
  • What are the best practices for academia-industry collaboration across national borders?   

Contact Person

dr. Ingmar Ickerott
Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences


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