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During the interactions between solution providers and users, communication is not limited to the operations that take place. The participants also exchange messages about their personal relationship. Interaction examples from a business context like (doctor - patient) and (shop assistant - buyer) show the diversity of such relationships.  When customers are invited to participate in open innovation, such messages are sent as well. Students are invited to write a master thesis on the role that innovation tools play in this context. In the course of their research, they are expected to study how users of innovation tools perceive the relation to the institutions that run the tool and what kind of signals in the tools are responsible for this perception. Research can either proceed in an experimental setting or an open environment like e.g. JOSEPHS.