collective-project.eu

Welcome to Collective

The pace of technological change is accelerating. Radical discontinuities seem to happen more frequently. This means that the useful lifespan of knowledge and capability is becoming shorter and that the obsolescence of knowledge/capability is increasingly the norm in innovation.

For incremental innovation, specialization is a winning strategy, but radical innovation requires aninterdisciplinary approach and a diversity of knowledge base that in general SMEs struggle to access.

The 36-month COLLECTIVE project wants to solve the major constraints of SMEs innovation byfeeding the innovation ecosystem, basing on 3 key-concepts: 

The Need

An organization can innovate by improving existing products, services, or processes or by generating new ones. Achieving successful, repeated organizational innovation, however, is a significant challenge. The hurdles to such innovation run the gamut from psychological to structural to procedural. Contrarily to incremental innovation, where specialization is a winning strategy, discontinuous innovation requires an interdisciplinary approach and a diversity of knowledge base that in general SMEs struggle to access.

Many SMEs, in fact, can fall victim to myopia and other challenges, because they experience cultural and financial access barriers to innovation, therefore they tend to adopt an unplanned, informal, crisis-driven approach to R&D, perceiving it purely as a means of solving immediate rather than future problems. SMEs also have a lack of awareness of the potential of ICT solutions to help their businesses gain competitive advantage and concerns over the cost of web-tools and e-business deployment and data security.

In this context, SMEs are clearly disadvantaged. They simply lack the cognitive diversity and the access to tools that permit the collaboration necessary to be early players in discontinuous innovation processes. Consequently they find it hard to profit from “early movers” advantage. The network based and collaborative approach at the heart of this project represents a promising potential solution to the major constraints of SMEs innovation: access to learning and knowledge processing, to cognitive diversity and openness to collaboration. In other words, SMEs need:

to have the possibility to be connected to foster collaborative projects.

The Need

An organization can innovate by improving existing products, services, or processes or by generating new ones. Achieving successful, repeated organizational innovation, however, is a significant challenge. The hurdles to such innovation run the gamut from psychological to structural to procedural. Contrarily to incremental innovation, where specialization is a winning strategy, discontinuous innovation requires an interdisciplinary approach and a diversity of knowledge base that in general SMEs struggle to access.

Many SMEs, in fact, can fall victim to myopia and other challenges, because they experience cultural and financial access barriers to innovation, therefore they tend to adopt an unplanned, informal, crisis-driven approach to R&D, perceiving it purely as a means of solving immediate rather than future problems. SMEs also have a lack of awareness of the potential of ICT solutions to help their businesses gain competitive advantage and concerns over the cost of web-tools and e-business deployment and data security.

In this context, SMEs are clearly disadvantaged. They simply lack the cognitive diversity and the access to tools that permit the collaboration necessary to be early players in discontinuous innovation processes. Consequently they find it hard to profit from “early movers” advantage. The network based and collaborative approach at the heart of this project represents a promising potential solution to the major constraints of SMEs innovation: access to learning and knowledge processing, to cognitive diversity and openness to collaboration. In other words, SMEs need:

to have the possibility to be connected to foster collaborative projects.

Key Concepts

Companies can find the seeds of great ideas from any nook and yard of the world, and IT has dramatically reduced the cost of accessing them. Virtually no company should innovate on its own, and luckily there has been an enormous expansion of potential partners and ways to collaborate with them.

Yet whilst internet technologies are increasingly being applied by large companies to facilitate collaboration, trade, learn, manage company business processes and deliver services, there are significant barriers to web-tools and e-business adoption by SMEs. As a matter of fact, organizational processes, structures, and values can shorten the innovation circuit.

Given these challenges, an innovation strategy embracing the concepts of collective intelligence and openness may enable organizations to surmount these hurdles. We refer to this approach asCollective Innovation and define it as a connected, open, and collaborative process that generates, develops, prioritizes, and executes new trends, ideas and products.

Collective innovation can be fed by the emergence of a community, that we intend as a distributed and loosely connected one, in other words the employees of the SME, the non-IT experts and web users could be connected in the iCommunity agorà in order to participate in an open and web-based Research and Development laboratory in the different areas of foresight, creativity and design.

Thus, the COLLECTIVE project wants to feed the innovation ecosystem. In fact, it is “one platform, many communities for many outputs (trends-ideas-products)”, based on 3 key-concepts:

Objectives

Companies, and especially SMEs, wishing to adopt a collective innovation approach have not yet developed specific operational tools and well-assessed methodologies. While collective intelligence has existed for at least as long as mankind has, the technical and social evolution of the Internet has created and given great emphasis to this new organizational approach area. The COLLECTIVE project connects with this new area of research and aims to advance it in an operational way tailored to SMEs necessities. In particular COLLECTIVE project aims to address the following SMEs’ innovation needs:

In particular, the COLLECTIVE project aims at developing conditions for the creation of communities(bottom-up approach) supporting each phase of the innovation process, by providing SME associations with an ICT operational platform named iCOMMUNITY. It is a powerful instrument, the new AGORÁ for collective intelligence and emerging communities, able to facilitate the innovation process, to foster collaboration among SMEs and to trigger structured proactive actions.

Finally, the iCOMMUNITY platform will enhance SME specific innovative abilities in: