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OPENNEXT: Reshaping product manufacturing

OPENNEXT is building an ecosystem for Makerspaces and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe to gain traction with open-source hardware development

This project is a part of our theme
Digital transition

Open Call for SMEs

Empowering SMEs to unleash the full potential of open-source hardware development.

If you’re part of an SME this is for you. OPENNEXT is currently looking for SMEs to join the co-creation path and collaborate on a new open-source hardware project. We’re there every step of the way with tools, co-creation, and guidance to help you realize the full potential of open-source.

DDC is part of the OPENNEXT project seeking to build an open ecosystem for companies and communities to collaborate on product creation. We’ve already tried and tested best practices with six SMEs – and now we’re inviting more SMEs to leverage the potential of open-source.

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Via facilitated collaboration between SMEs and makerspaces, the DDC is supporting the initiative to make it easier and more tangible for companies to leverage the potential of open-source design principles.

The Challenge: Let’s change the way we manufacture and distribute products

Today’s industrial product creation is expensive, risky, and unsustainable. The closed-circuit systems and silo-thinking familiar to traditional development processes limit perspectives and block new solutions from seeing the light of day. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

Imagine if we designed new products and services based on openness, the inclusion of the end-user, and with local communities in mind. Imagine if we could streamline innovation, tap into a global mind-hive of knowledge, and minimize costs, risks, and ecological impact associated with product creation.

In OPENNEXT, we believe that with the right tools, models, and guides in place, a global community of open-source hardware manufacturing is not just possible, but could also become the global standard for the future of product creation. 

We don’t have time to wait for patent lawyers. The open and collaborative future is now.

The Approach: Developing methods, tools, and support systems for companies and makerspaces to work together

The DDC is part of the OPENNEXT project as a facilitating partner, guiding the collaborative processes between project partners, supporting SMEs, and leading the flow of information about the project to external stakeholders and citizens. Leveraging our knowledge of design thinking and design methods from a digital and social perspective, our deliverables to the project involve the design of open-source toolkits for future use by businesses and communities. 

Company-community collaboration
OPENNEXT matches SMEs and Makerspaces across Europe and assists them in co-developing hardware products together with customers and communities locally, globally, online, and in real life.

A toolbox for open-source hardware
Deliverables from the project are being turned into tangible tools and best practice examples for any SME to use in their open-source hardware project or journey – from revenue streams to community building best practices, and how to design a new business model based on open-source principles.

Documenting the open-source journey
In total, the project will follow 18 SMEs that participate in communities via OPENNEXT to document their development of viable and user-centric open-source hardware.


OPENNEXT is a three-year project funded by Horizon 2020 under the EU’s flagship initiative to couple research and innovation. OPENNEXT brings together 19 project partners from Europe divided into research partners, facilitators, and SMEs.

Frederik Lean Hansen

Senior Project Manager

Phone +45 3136 4700
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Are you curious about exploring the potential of open-source for your business?

Can’t get enough of design and innovation? We hear you. And we have you covered.

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