The effective management and reuse of knowledge in the early product development supports the early identification of high potential technologies, reduces barriers of accessing them and ensures technology leadership. Until now, technology databases were only a means of communicating knowledge on innovations. The purpose of this study is to analyse the design of technology databases with a processual integration into research and development. It is a concept for companies to collaboratively and effectively develop and adapt innovative technologies.
In the Design4Energy project, an interdisciplinary, inter-divisional project team, including information and communications technology managers, engineers and energy experts, developed an architectural concept and use cases of a system to integrate the technology life cycle into the building creation process. Eventually, the stakeholders evaluated the system in industrial applications.
This research reveals that the developed system supports the collaboration between professionals in the design stage. Along the development and implementation of the system, the main success factors result in four design principles: effective and efficient design, basic functionalities supporting technology adaption, interoperability and integration into the processes and organization.
The results deal with the interoperability in early phases of product development and guide through the methodological design of technology databases. Transparent design requirements based on real case learnings increase system applicability and data consistency.
The work guides the methodology, process integration and IT architecture of technology databases, which literature does not provide. Thus, it leads to decision reliability in technology management and implies the success factors for living databases.
This research was co-funded by the European Commission under contract FP7-2013-NMP-ENV-EeB through the Design4Energy project (Grant agreement number: 609380). The development and evaluation of the research application case in this work is enabled by the project. All contributions by the project are indicated in the text. We would like to acknowledge all the project’s partners, in particular the companies contributing their valuable input to this work.
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