1 Department of Development and Planning, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN2 Center for Design, Innovation and Sustainable Transitions, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN3 Center for Design, Innovation and Sustainable Transitions, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN4 The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN
This paper addresses transformation of knowledge across different knowledge domains and competencies in the Front End of Innovation (FEI) [Koen 2002].We examine the temporary spaces [Clausen, Yoshinaka 2007] that emerge when different knowledge domains are brought into play (implicit or explicit) in staging innovative concept development. FEI appears as temporary spaces for innovative processes; and studies have pointed out the limited uptake of user knowledge (Elgaard Jensen 2012). This paper will discuss the possibilities and barriers for uptake of user knowledge in FEI in relation to the constitutions of these temporary spaces. There seems to be a limited understanding of: how knowledge is transferred and transformed into design objects facilitating a process where knowledge enables innovative thinking across knowledge boundaries. The paper is based on empirical data primarily from case studies in industrial R&D from medical device development and a consultancy company both working with an explicit ambition for transforming user insights into data applicable for concept development. The empirical data will be examined and compared with current literature on transforming and transferring knowledge between domains [Carlile 2002, Star 2010, Binder et al 2011]. Additional literature on the constitution of temporary development spaces will be relevant in the analysis. The paper examines a range of heterogeneous actors engaged in the transformation process [Latour 1999, Callon 1988; Jensen 2003]. Such actors include evaluation criteria for new concepts, project constellations and organisational structure. The paper contributes to the understanding of how user insights may be transformed across the temporary spaces of FEI.