Discussions about alternative approaches to innovation are high on scientific and industrial agendas. Concepts such as Open Innovation or phenomena such as Living Labs point to an understanding of innovation and product development as more networked multi-stakeholder processes. However, in many cases so far, this is more a realisation of the shortcomings of existing theories and practices than the documentation of reliable knowledge or mature methodological approaches in their own right. The motivation for this special issue is to contribute to closing this gap.
Concurrent engineering is a school of thought in the domain of engineering management which has for almost two decades explored networked processes in the pursuit of several concurrent objectives represented by different stake holders. From the initial integration of product development in R&D departments and production engineering in manufacturing, its scope has broadened to cover collaboration across more departments, across multiple companies, and with customers and users.
One finding from this discussion is that such networked processes call for distinct working methodologies, which again require dedicated organisational environments that provide appropriate support. Living Labs might be such environments; “clusters” or “regional innovation systems” might be other terms for organisational networks in which concurrent product development takes place.
While there is some literature on such network settings, research about concurrency in product development and how it is impacted by network settings is sparse. This issue aims to explore such product development and innovation processes.
Manuscripts are invited from both practitioners and researchers. Papers with original unpublished research are invited and can be either of theoretical nature to advance conceptualisation, or of empirical nature. This issue encourages submissions from all over the world to contribute to the conceptual foundation of Living Labs and other product development networks.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- Co-creation, co-innovation and open innovation
- Collaborative engineering
- Collaborative innovation systems and clusters
- Collaborative mobile devices and mobile engineering
- Concurrent engineering methods and processes
- Creating demand for innovations
- Integrated engineering of products, services and organisations
- Knowledge management, representation and visualisation
- Legal issues (IPR) in living labs
- Product data and product life-cycle management
- Simulations and games for CE, collaboration and learning
- Virtual collaborative environments
Full manuscript submission: 31 March, 2011