Third ECN Open Innovation in Science Award

Who can participate?

All individual scientists or groups of scientists in the fields of neuroscience or life sciences located at research institutions in Berlin, including founding and partner institutions of the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin. Early career researchers such as PhD students and their supervisors are particularly encouraged to apply! Join our webinars if you want to get more information about Open Innovation in Science or the application and selection process. Or, jump directly to the application!


Which projects are eligible for the OIS Award?

The ECN Open Innovation in Science (OIS) Award aims at supporting the development and implementation of project ideas for productively incorporating open and collaborative practices into neuroscientific and life-science research. An OIS project idea eligible for submission to the ECN OIS Award needs to convincingly

  • outline how an OIS approach is planned to be incorporated in one or more stages (see illustration below) of a particular neuroscientific or life-science research project. This involves
    • inbound OIS approaches such as citizen or crowd science, co-creation and/or co-execution of research projects with patients, health care professionals, companies and other relevant stakeholder groups, or reusing (open) data, materials or infrastructures
    • outbound OIS approaches such as technological competence leveraging, crowdsourcing, hackathons or collaborations with companies for diffusing and translating scientific discovery into novel treatments, behavioral advice, app development or other innovative solutions.
  • demonstrate how this approach contributes to increasing novelty, efficiency and/or impact of the neuroscientific or life-science research in which this OIS project idea is embedded.
OIS stages
Schematic illustration of typical research process steps. In all steps, open and collaborative practices can be productively implemented.

If you want to learn more about OIS, please review this paper or explore the website of the LGB Open Innovation in Science Center.


OIS Award Information Webinars 2023

On April 17 and 18, 2023 the ECN hosted two webinars in which the speakers explained the concept of Open Innovation in Science (webinar 1) and offered detailed information on the submission and selection processes of the ECN OIS Awards (webinar 2). The webinars have been recorded, please see the recordings below.


Webinar 1 | What is Open Innovation in Science (OIS): Using open and collaborative practices to increase the productivity and impact of scientific research

Speakers: Prof. Dr. Marion Poetz (Copenhagen Business School), Dr. Benedikt Salmen (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin)

Content: In this webinar, the speakers present the concept of Open Innovation in Science (OIS), i.e., applying open and collaborative practices to generating and translating scientific research and how it can help improve the productivity and impact of scientific research. More specifically, they explain selected OIS practices and cases along the entire scientific research processes and discuss how, why and under what conditions openness and collaboration benefits scientific research, in general and particularly in the neurosciences. Information from this webinar can be used to develop an application for the ECN OIS Award.

Webinar recording (video on YouTube)


Webinar 2 | ECN Open Innovation in Science Award

Speakers: Prof. Dr. Marion Poetz (Copenhagen Business School), Dr. Benedikt Salmen (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin)

Content: In this webinar, the speakers present the ECN OIS Award, i.e., a special award given to scientists working in or related to the neurosciences who convincingly demonstrate how they envision the application of open and collaborative practices to improve the productivity and impact of a new or ongoing research project. They briefly explain the submission and selection process in the ECN OIS Award, and offer information on how to develop and submit an OIS idea proposal. The winners of the ECN OIS Award receive a monetary prize of 15.000 EUR as well as support services for implementing their OIS ideas.

Webinar recording (video on YouTube)



How can you participate in the OIS Award?

Applying for and participating in the process contains several steps as outlined below:

Step 1 | Submission of a short OIS project idea description (6 pages)

Please submit a short description of your envisioned OIS project until July 7, 2023 to, using this template.

The main questions you need to address in your OIS project idea description are:

  • OIS project context: In which new or ongoing neuroscientific or life-science research project/program is this OIS project idea embedded?
  • OIS project goal: What ”research challenge/s” in the process of generating and/or translating this neuroscientific or life-science research (e.g., finding a novel and relevant research question/hypothesis; data access/data quality/data quantity; access to funding, infrastructure or other resources; efficiency/speed/accuracy in collecting/analyzing/processing data; avoiding biases in interpreting your findings; overcoming the translational gap, etc.) do you want to address with your OIS project idea?
  • OIS project approach: With whom externally (outside your academic field and/or outside academia), how and under which terms will you collaborate or exchange knowledge and other resources (OIS processes, methods and tools) to achieve your project goal?
  • OIS project value: How does this OIS project idea contribute to better (increased novelty, efficiency, and/or impact) generating and/or translating this neuroscientific or life-science research (vs. doing it in the traditional way)?


Step 2 | First review, feedback and selection of most promising OIS project ideas

All OIS project ideas submitted during the first step will be reviewed by a panel of OIS experts and receive feedback by September 4, 2023. The most promising submissions (shortlist) will be invited to incorporate the feedback, prepare a presentation and pitch their OIS project ideas at the OIS Award Event on October 6, 2023.

The panel of OIS experts who already confirmed their participation consists of:


Step 3 | OIS Award Event and OIS Project Development Workshops

The researchers/research teams behind the shortlisted OIS project ideas will receive the opportunity to pitch their ideas at a public OIS Award Event on October 6, 2023

The panel of OIS experts will live-evaluate the pitch presentations and nominate the winner(s) of the 2023 OIS Award of the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin.

The winners will receive financial support to further materialize and implement their OIS ideas.

Furthermore, the researchers/research teams behind all shortlisted projects will be invited to participate in a customized OIS project development workshop in the period between November 2023 and January 2024. As part of this workshop, experts will help further develop the OIS project ideas and address critical implementation issues.

The winning project team(s) will additionally receive individual support in planning next steps with respect to spending their OIS Award prize money and starting the implementation of their projects. Using insights from the project development workshop and the individual coaching, the winning project team(s) have to hand in an elaborated project proposal by February 2024 to


To support the development and submission of OIS project ideas, we offer individual coaching sessions with OIS experts prior to the submission deadline.

OIS project idea coaching | Get help with developing your OIS project idea

To get help with developing your OIS project idea, please prepare a short abstract of your initial OIS idea outlining how you plan to use open and collaborative practices in your research and why you think this will benefit your research project (max. 250 words).

Please send this abstract to Prof. Marion Poetz ( to coordinate an individual one-hour coaching session with you individually or with your research team. The coaching sessions will take place via Zoom.

In your individual coaching session, you will receive feedback on your initial idea description and get to ask additional questions. The feedback can then be incorporated to further develop your ECN OIS Award submission.

Appointments for individual OIS idea-coaching sessions will be offered in the period between May 15 and June 30, 2023. You will be provided with options for scheduling your individual coaching session once you submitted your short abstract.


Any further questions about the ECN Open Innovation in Science Award can also be directed to

We are looking forward to receiving your OIS project idea submissions!

— The ECN OIS team —