The course Sources of Innovation has the following educational objectives:
- the student has knowledge and understanding of innovation processes of products with a dominant technology component
- the student can position product innovation in the context of technology, societal developments, human factors, marketing and sales and design and styling
- the student can prepare and carry out activities aiming at effective innovation processes
- the student has insight in processes of concept generation and decision making related to categories of new product concepts and is capable of applying them in product design projects
In many industries technological innovation is the most important driver of competitive success. Therefore this course provides insight in innovation processes regarding emerging technologies. Innovation can arise from many different sources such as firms, research institutes and individuals. By their impact on product development processes technological innovations are of major concern for industrial product designers. It is for this reason that the course Sources of Innovation provides information about innovation processes and useful tools for the design of technology-based products with innovative features. In particular sustainable product design requires good insights in innovation processes and for this reason the course often focuses on cases with sustainable technologies.
The approach in the course Sources of Innovation is twofold. Theory will be provided on innovation processes and innovation methods. Besides this, theory will be applied in a design project. In this course innovation will be considered as changes of product-market-technology combinations and the theory will refer to this framework. Innovation process will be studied from different points of view such as diffusion of innovations, industry dynamics and strategy.
The implementation of a technological innovation strategy will be supported by innovation methods which focus on the design of technology-based products. Innovation methods that are part of the course content are: innovation phase model, lead user study, platform-driven product development, risk diagnosing methodology, technology roadmapping and TRIZ, innovative design & styling, innovation journey, constructive technology assessment and the multi-level design model.
The design project will focus on innovative product design on the basis of an emerging technology. The project phases will be supported by the methods presented during the lectures. The final result of the project will be an innovative technology-based product concept which fits in a future market.