Towards a multidisciplinary understanding of product innovation: the Synopsis network project

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    The product development research area has evolved from the area of engineering design, based upon the recognition that important aspects such as need, market, business, innovation of the company, technology management, etc. fuse together to form a field of competencies, containing its own professionalism and a need for clarification and research. In the 1980´s, Danish industry was introduced to the concept of Integrated Product Development (IPD) [1]. IPD has acted as a guide to industry ever since, highlighting the need to concurrently address the product, production and market situations when developing products, and providing a structured framework into which product design should fit. Fifteen years later, industry has developed and moved on, so that IPD no longer fits ideally to many industries´ actual product development activities [2]. There are many reasons for these changes, and industry again needs a new vision for a product development framework, that fits to the nature of industry today and the future. A group of researchers in Denmark have joined together, in recognition of the fact that product development and increasingly innovation, a term often used interchangeably with the term product development is in need of deeper understanding if we are to support and continue to enjoy world class product development-based industry in Denmark. Not surprisingly, the group of researchers consists of a broad range of professional backgrounds, from mechanical engineering, through manufacturing, psychology, anthropology, social science and operations management. The group of researchers is formally organised as a research network project, supported and part-funded by the Centre for Industrial Production at Aalborg University. The project, called "Synopsis", has a number of aims and foci, with the goal of steering an exploration of the current state-of-the-art and future needs of product innovation in Danish industry. Due to the network´s multi-disciplinary nature it is not always possible, nor is it desirable to attempt to force one unified view of product innovation. We have therefore defined a set of "images of innovation" which describe the subject from each our viewpoints. The ultimate goals of the network project are to produce: 1. A framework/reference system describing companies´ innovation activities, based upon national and international research findings 2. A vocabulary with which to be able to describe product innovation from one industry type to the next 3. A map of Denmark, showing the significant stakeholders connected to product innovation 4. A transfer of knowledge gathered from the project into teaching material and case studies, both for academia and industry. This paper describes the background for the Synopsis project in detail and reports on the results achieved to date.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings from Research Seminar on Operations Management and Innovation
    Publication date2002
    Publication statusPublished - 2002
    EventResearch Seminar on Operations Management and Innovation - Aalborg, Denmark
    Duration: 25 Nov 200226 Nov 2002


    SeminarResearch Seminar on Operations Management and Innovation


    • Innovation
    • PD methods
    • Communities
    • Product/service-system
    • Product/Service-Systems
    • Product/Service-Systems (PSS)
    • PSS
    • Servicizing


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