Promote innovation, in particular step changes, not only in technology but also in products or services, the market, processes, organisation, etc.
Aim of the proposed project was to develop a software-based innovation management platform, founded on structured and precise innovation management processes in order to: generate, assess, define and schedule industrial innovation projects which will lead to step changes in aeronautics.
The project target was to keep innovation leadership in Europe by enhancing sustainable innovation (based on a mix of incremental and breakthrough changes) enabled by the newly developed innovation platform and modern, systematic innovation management methods. Main benefits of the platform were: business process integration, increasing innovation efficiency (goal-oriented, systematic and model-based approach), fostering continuous and process-flow based collaboration, and establishing a database to efficiently manage knowledge.
In order to continuously capture and maintain knowledge output of innovation processes, a regularly accessible database was integrated into the platform. The platform was web- and work-flow based, and developed by the latest Microsoft.NET and SQL Server technologies.
The project consortium consisted of innovation and aviation experts from Altran (co-ordinator), Altran NEO, ABB, Carl Zeiss, and EADS. Upon reaching the innovation process chain and the corresponding IT platform development milestones, a real-case process was launched to apply the IT platform to current challenges of the aeronautics sector in order to generate, assess, track, and 'in long term' implement resulting step changes, leading to increased competitiveness of the European aeronautics industry.
The IT platform was incorporated at industrial partners as well as provided to selected universities by constantly involving researchers/specialists from within and outside the aeronautics sector. Dissemination of reports to specific target groups (universities, research institutions in aeronautics and industrial partners) resulted in the active spread and use of platform.
The project as a whole and the expected results to be achieved were divided into the following three phases:
- Phase 1: Development of Innovation management process (IMP) model, modelling of system and SW requirements;
- Phase 2: SW implementation, web-based SW platform;
- Phase 3: Pilot launch, acceptance testing, pilot innovation workshops and dissemination.
During the first phase, the innovation management process model was completed, together with definition of the advanced technology watch. System and SW requirements, as well as IMP model, were modelled with the unified modelling language (UML) /requirements modelling tool called Enterprise architect. Initial web forms were developed with a tool called Balsamiq. A small Sharepoint prototype was developed in order to check the workflow concept, process linkage, and to assist with graphical user interface (GUI) / web form development.
The project also conducted analysis of different implementing technologies and compared their given functionality, functionality to be extended, development cost and license/maintenance fees. The following options were also considered:
- Microsoft .NET / C# development with Sharepoint front end.
- Microsoft Sharepoint.
- BPML solution with Appway.
- Hype extension to cover all processes and methods to be integrated.
The Innovation management SW platform was intended to enable active use of well-defined innovation / technology management methods / processes at universities and within the industry in order to promote innovation in the aeronautical sector in the European Union (EU).
More awareness and feeling of involvement for all participants was created through the large scale involvement of users. Visibility was added to the processes and increased the perception that innovation is important and that every idea matters. It expanded the possibilities for communication within the organisation, across hierarchy levels and competency fields.
The platform aimed to support the process of generating new ideas by enhancing the creativity of the large pool of users and further establishing a structured bridge to management, so that good ideas can be recognised and turned into concrete results. Integration of modern, systematic ideation methods will increase the effective use of these methods and increase the likelihood of generating ideas for step changes in different areas, not only in products, but also in logistics and services. This will also be supported by an advanced technology watch process that is integrated into the overall innovation management platform.
Innovation for the future: technology and behaviour.