The Collaboratorium

WHAT: The Collaboratorium is an independent and not-for-profit research institution based north of Copenhagen. It’s a knowledge space that since 2012 have allowed people coming from different backgrounds (e.g. research, art, media, business) and with different knowledge competences (e.g. philosophy, cognitive science, law, web-design, documentary film-making, engineering, economy) to engage in inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration. The Collaboratorium manifests itself in knowledge processes that take the form of creating cultural change by facilitating deep exploratory and engaging collaboration, created by the common will to solve real problems for real people.

WHY: We acknowledge that to deal with the complex societal problems that will define our future, we must develop problem-oriented, knowledge and collaborative skills. The problems we try to tackle in Collaboratorium are of complex nature and primarily within the areas of health, environment and education. We ask the overall question: how can scientists in collaboration with companies, foundations, the media and citizens reinvent the purpose of scientific work?

HOW: The way we try to tackle these complex problems is by initiating and facilitating knowledge collaboration among relevant partners such as research institutions, art institutions, filmmakers, open source communities and academic and private research units. In other words, Collaboratorium is a social laboratory for exploring the emerging culture of open collaboration driven by innovative, integrative, transdisciplinary and impact-oriented thinking and practice.

SOLUTIONS: The solutions we develop are knowledge products that aim to have societal impact for the people that deal with such complex problems in their daily life. The products are of different scientific, technological, organizational, social, artistic and legal quality, such as collaborative and communicative tools (apps, web-platforms), ‘open science’ educational labs (Open Media Lab), documentary movies, theatre plays, collaborative contracts, etc.

Our Story

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The idea of creating a Collaboratorium as an open science organization started during the conference ‘Knowledge in Networks’ at the Elsass Institute 12th December 2012. During the following years Collaboratorium was a research network that developed through different collaborative research projects. In the Fall of 2015 the Collaboratorium received a contract for a book aimed at describing the theoretical and practical ideas behind collaboration. At the same time, we submitted a grant application to the Elsass Foundation for a 3-year research project that involved housing the Collaboratorium. The 1st of February 2016 the Collaboratorium was established as a non-profit organisation and moved in at the Elsass institute, starting a new chapter in the collaborative process.