The German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) is with 3,300 members the largest industry association in Europe. Within its research curatorship it initialises and coordinates pre-competitive research in industry and academia. VDMA asked us to develop a platform to provide 12.000 researching engineers across Europe a digital home, support inter-organisational teams in their collaboration and enable them to share research findings with the community.
We started the project with a series of co-creation workshops in which future users developed a product vision. In the course of these workshops, we learned a lot about the current pain points and hopes for the planned platform. We resonated the features derived from these insights regularly with future users and gained security that the solution we developed provided appropriate answers for the complex requirements.
Nevertheless, we were excited to see, that only two months after launch hundreds of projects were created, thousands of research documents were uploaded and more than 20.000 research results were downloaded. THEMIS had instantly become a vital community for researching engineers all over Europe. And it is still.