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Duration: 24 months (2008 - 2010)

Start: 1/4/2008

Project Website: http://www.idspace-project.org/

Principal Investigator: Γιώργος Παπαδόπουλος

Main Funding Source: European Commission, FP7

Total Cost: 327,360

Society and industry in particular increasingly rely on innovative designs for products and services. Innovation starts with the creativity of individuals; they collaborate in teams, exchange ideas and share knowledge, learning together, informally. Such innovators go through cycles in which new ideas are generated and explored, valued and detailed. But they need appropriate tools to generate ideas, reuse them, take them apart, criticise them, or even reject them. Currently, innovation processes rely on a large variety of tools that are used mostly independently of each other. As a consequence, past efforts are hardly taken into account, and little or no attention is paid to the context in which the ideas arose. Furthermore, little effort is made to safeguard and share the results of innovation processes, for future use, in other contexts, with other people.

The idSpace project (www.idspace-project.org) seeks to remedy this situation by researching solutions that allow designers of innovative products to collaborate with each other, but most importantly to elaborate ideas and designs that have emerged earlier on, in previously held sessions with their own group or even in other groups. This is achieved through a dedicated platform which facilitates collaboration and, what is more, in which ideas are stored, reused and reworked - thus allowing to learn from them and tell about them. The individual idea as a standalone semantic entity is key to the project. Such entities are used for reference purposes whenever a new refinement into a different viewpoint or model is created. Links between ideas qua entities and their refinements are also used for navigation, exploration as well as context-aware recommendation purposes.

The idSpace platform features an integrative toolset that allows a distributed team of innovators to create new ideas, to contribute to and preserve existing ideas, and to learn about them. It employs techniques for exploring new ideas (e.g. mind mapping in story writing and brainstorming) and for refinement of ideas (e.g. morphological analysis.) The project developed tools to support traceability among stories, mind maps, concept maps, goals, new product features, as well as company values and policies. The idSpace platform also preserves semantic relationships among the different viewpoints for later exploration, retrieval, and navigation purposes. The effectiveness of the integrative platform has been tested by exposing it to innovation experts and innovators.