The Knowledge Transfer Labs are a series of workshops organised by the Datemats partners to test and evaluate the design thinking methods defined within the project. The aim of the meetings was to further improve the suitability of the methods as means of knowledge transfer for Emerging Materials and Technologies (EM&Ts) from academia to industry.

The workshops were initially planned to be held before Summer 2020 but had to be rearranged due to the pandemic that was faced by all involved parties. The COVID-19 situation has been a challenge for the consortium in reaching the targeted amount of companies to involve while maintaining restrictions in number of participants, respecting physical distancing and local health security guidelines. Eventually, a detailed planning of the events provided by task leader Industrial Development Center (IDC) and a tight collaboration with the other hosts of the workshops allowed to execute a series of successful sessions during September and October.

The workshops involved over 90 companies, design studios and design professionals in four labs held in Sweden (IDC), in Spain organised by Barcelona Design Center (BCD) and Materfad, and in Italy at Materially premises. The participants were introduced to emerging materials and technologies (EM&Ts) exploring some materials samples using the Datemats Toolkits and guided by the experts of the four Universities being part of this initiative. After the initial plenary session, the audience – both physically present and connected online – was splitted into four groups for some interactive design thinking exercises investigating more in depth the presented EM&Ts potentialities. The small group activities offered first hand exchange with design researchers belonging to Aalto University’s ChemArts team, KEA’s Material Design Lab, Politecnico di Milano’s Department of Design as well as from the spanish institutions.

The gatherings were designed based on the guidelines provided by consortium partner TECNUN analysing the currently applied knowledge transfer methods from academia to industry and presenting the Datemats approach to be tested in the labs.

Besides offering new knowledge on material innovation to the participants, the workshops provided valuable feedback to improve the project outputs while getting in direct contact with companies for further involvement. Have a look at the resource section and download the publicly available project outputs and reach out to be part of the next activities.