Technology-Driven Innovation: Applying the Technology to Product Tool in an Educational Setting
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: De Keersmaecker, Ann; Jacoby, Alexis; Baelus, Chris
Institution: Artesis University College Antwerp, Belgium
Section: Best Practice in Design Education
Technology to Product is a software tool to support technology driven innovation at the Front End of Innovation. The tool is result of a close collaboration with researchers (Artesis University College), an innovation consultancy and a product development firm. The Technology to Product software tool provides five supporting modules. The Front End Guide gives an overview of the three different activities during the early stage of the design process. It describes a step by step approach taking functional, technological and market related aspects into account and guides the designer through the process. The Tech Check questions the status of the three stages and gives indications on the required level of awareness, knowledge and the readiness for productizing. The Generator stimulates the ideation by defining the technical functions of the technology at a generic abstraction level and linking them with relevant product functions, resulting into new applications and feasible competitive markets. The Matchmaker evaluates the fit of the selected applications with the technology and vice versa. The evaluation is based on product performance levels and seeks for a balance between the added value provided by this characteristic and the efforts needed to adapt the technology. The Moneytimer estimates the economic feasibility of the application by visualizing the relation between payback time, launch and development costs and return on investment. Because of its parallel make-up with the methodology of the curriculum, the implementation of the toolbox in design education seems promising. The toolbox is illustrated with some technology driven master projects.