Improving concept development with data exploration in the context of an innovation and technological design course


Innovation is about continuously pursuing better, more efficient solutions, and organizations allocate vast resources to achieve this goal. One challenge is the access to and exploitation of information, as teams attempt to harness existing knowledge to design solutions efficiently. This article is concerned with two of the earliest stages of the concept development process, information gathering and idea generation. Information gathering and idea generation can be enhanced to find hints for more innovative or diverse concepts for engineering solutions by the use of data mining tools and techniques to exploit patent data. A case is presented where teams of engineering students, in the context of a higher education course for innovation and technological design, explore data from domain specific patents to develop innovative solutions. The findings indicate that the use of data can be advantageous for team creativity, as it helps identify potential solution elements, materials and current technologies.

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Correspondence to Ma-Lorena Escandón-Quintanilla.

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Escandón-Quintanilla, M., Gardoni, M. & Cohendet, P. Improving concept development with data exploration in the context of an innovation and technological design course. Int J Interact Des Manuf 12, 161–172 (2018).

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  • Idea generation
  • Data mining
  • Patent mining
  • Innovation
  • Solution design