Establishing and Leveraging Networks in Design Education Innovation Projects
DS 78: Proceedings of the 16th International conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE14), Design Education and Human Technology Relations, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 04-05.09.2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Spencer, Nicholas; Walden, Roderick; Leong, Benny; Baile, Mark; Aftab, Mersha
Institution: 1Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK; 2University of Technology, Sydney, Australia; 3Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Section: International Collaboration
Project networking is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from individuals, groups and organisations external to a project’s core team. The ability to establish and leverage networks is an increasingly important component of developing open innovation practices within many industries. This research examines the strategies and tactics employed by multidisciplinary undergraduate and postgraduate students to finding, forming and utilising idea-supporting networks. Three academic institutions, Northumbria University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and The University of Technology Sydney, brought together a multidisciplinary collection of students and academics to explore hand hygiene solutions in their respective domestic culture and a foreign culture. While each of the student teams aimed to produce design research that uncovered opportunities for social benefit and profit, the project concurrently sought to explore two research questions: 1) what approaches to establishing networks in innovation projects emerge during a globally connected educational programme and 2) what value is leveraged to support project development? This research builds on work about Open Innovation Networks focusing on idea development and reports findings about innovation enhancement and innovation suppression that emerged as a result of distributed digital design research.