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This is what the business model looks like when you develop in collaboration with others

The best innovations and solutions for a sustainable society often arise when multiple parties work together. Collaborative projects in which different skills converge offer numerous benefits. "However, a loose collaboration can make it difficult for the new technology or service to reach the market. It's about quickly finding out what the new business will look like so that everyone involved is in agreement," says Ulrika Wahlström, innovation project manager at IMCG.

When a company introduces a new offer to the market on its own, it is relatively easy to identify the business model. It becomes more complicated when several companies and organisations are involved in the development. If this is the case, it is not enough to look at the individual company's business model, but rather a larger perspective must be considered. 

- "We work with Value Chain Design. It means that we investigate how different organisations' business models work together and how they affect each other in a value chain. It is important to identify who pays whom and which suppliers are needed at different stages in order for the solution to work in practice," says Jonas Norrman, CEO at IMCG.

Parallel businesses
IMCG is hired by collaborative and development projects to identify how the parties' business models are interlinked in the emergence of parallel businesses and money flows. Among other things, the exercise has been carried out in the DenCity project, where sustainable solutions for freight transport and public transportation are developed together with over 30 active project partners.

- "It is a very complex situation when many organisations develop business models together. The analysis model used in the workshop was very efficient. For example, the absolute necessity for several providers to support a functioning service was brought to light. `IT providers, e-commerce and logistics companies are part of the chain behind the delivery when you buy an item online. The solution needs to deliver both customer value and willingness to pay," says Anders Forsberg, project manager at CLOSER at Lindholmen Science Park, which runs DenCity.

Implementation, scale-up and replication
In collaborative projects, the objectives often concern implementation, scale-up and replication where there are requirements for utilisation by public project financiers, such as the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, Vinnova and the European Commission. This means that what is being developed will continue to be used.

- "In order to reach the targets, we need to figure out what type of parties and functions are needed to get the solution to work in reality and then identify how the revenue streams fit into the chain. Once this has been done, it will be easier to see how the same service or offer can be used elsewhere, perhaps in another district or in another city," says Ulrika Wahlström.