Skip Menu

Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

In order to develop a framework for innovation-based manufacturing, a solid understanding of innovation theories and best practices as they are applied in the manufacturing setting is being developed, including structured innovation processes (SIPs) that guide the innovation process.  These SIPs will be tested and verified at the university as well as in industry. 

Two major areas that will be further researched are the Technology Stage-Gate process and TRIZ (acronym for the Russian theory of innovation).  The Technology Stage-Gate process is a New Product Development framework that focuses on technologies in their early stages when the success of the technology is still highly uncertain and a high-risk opportunity.  TRIZ, on the other hand, is a theory that allows practitioners to resolve system conflicts for existing, as well as new, technologies, products, processes, and systems. 

However, no theory specifically addresses the manufacturing system development needed for the realization of new technologies including the resolution of scalability and manufacturability constraints in a structured framework.  This framework would allow organizations to accelerate the commercialization of emerging technologies and, most importantly, minimize risks.  Questions that need to be answered through its accompanying decision gates are: (1)What information or insight needs to be communicated at each decision point, and (2) what are the most efficient methods or activities for assembling this knowledge? The New Product Development community reported that the criteria for decision gates are considered the least understood and the least proficiently conducted aspects of the innovation process.