PhD offer - Maturity model to support the co-creation of local accessible urban factories

Grenoble INP - University Grenoble Alpes

Location: Grenoble, France
Role: Full-time PhD position
Salary: 1,747€
Required Skills: Communication and presentation skills; interview and data structuring; data analysis.
Profile: Ideally a PhD student with an engineering background and an experience in empirical work such as semi directed interviews, ethnography.



The transformation of our modern societies, in response to huge stresses due to climate change, political and economic uncertainties is creating an important and urgent need for change. The European Green Deal is the political response of the EU to this challenge. It aims to put the EU in the right tracks towards a carbon neutral society. The Thesis project is part of a Green Deal European project that tackles the problem of local, sustainable and urban manufacturing. Is it possible to invent a new production model that could solve the contradiction of being integrated into the urban environment and still producing quality products with little impact on the planet? We propose to rely on existing new forms of collaboration and value creation that already exist. Digital communities gathered around open-source projects, Makers that create collective of professionals, artists, craftsmen, designers, to co-create solutions, SMEs and entrepreneurs that are creating more sustainable, circular business models, are important resources that could participate to create the model we are looking for. The LAUDS-Factory is an innovative concept aiming at creating small, versatile factories in local and urban areas to co-create and produce customized products in small series. In addition, these local infrastructures should participate to create a more user-centric model where the user is active in the produce-use-repair-recycle loop. These LAUDS factories aim to promote the new European Bauhaus approach by bringing the production close to the user and integrate the production into the social environment.

The thesis project aims at developing a maturity model enabling collaboration among the various actors involved in a LAUDS co-creation project.

The challenge is to create an evaluation framework that would allow to support and develop the the collaborative capacity of the project members.

Thus it aims to support and develop the collaborative capacity of the various involved actors in a distributed and decentralised environment. The aim is to develop a local readiness level scale in order to allow a self-evaluation of the actors while engaging in the process of building a LAUDS factory. It will also include a persona analysis of the LAUDS factories potential stakeholders (SMEs, start-ups, artists, makers and citizens, local authorities…), and a classification and clarification of their needs and expectations, through interviews and surveys. This is particularly necessary in order to take into account the diversity of the regional territories and different scales. The outcome of this thesis will be a capacity building model that takes into account all the dimensions of the collaboration (i.e. actors, shared knowledge and documentation, quality criteria, openness and business models, networking, political and territory, etc.), including a stakeholder map to clearly understand the context conditions and the value elements to be delivered to each stakeholder.

The research methodology will be iterative and empirical, strongly connected to the case studies of the project. The first phase will consist in a large review of existing maturity models and approaches in the literature, understanding the new urban manufacturing approaches and the articulation between design and manufacturing. This should lead to the proposition of a maturity scale and method associated to evaluate and support the projects to scale up in terms of production and quality standards. The second phase of the thesis will be empirical. Through the participation to several projects funded by the LAUDS factories project, we will have the opportunity to test the implementation of our method and to refine it. This will be a co-development phase very user-centric. Through case studies, we will gather data and evidences that will allow a strict and robust evaluation of our proposition and in the same time create an methodology to implement it concretely. The third phase of the project will be the consolidation and publication of the final version of the model and the implementation method. The conceptual elaboration of the model should also be associated with a method and an information support to disseminate the results among the society that allows the reuse by anyone willing to develop an urban manufacturing approach.

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