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Ideas to Market - A tool-based approach to transform research results into business options

WorkgroupKnowledge Exchange

Project description

In Germany, the economic utilization of patents lags behind expectations. Therefore, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) decided to fund projects that foster the economic use of scientific findings. Against this background, the project “Ideas to market” aims to facilitate the transition of basic research into different application areas. Specifically, research at the IWM focuses on the technological support of knowledge exchange within groups.

The exchange of ideas and joint innovation in groups often fail, because of basic cognitive or communicative misconceptions (e.g., group think). The situation becomes even worse when groups consist of heterogenic, competitive members that are unlikely to have to cooperate again in the future. Problems in such settings include the challenge of establishing a common ground, for instance, in using a commonly understood vocabulary. Also, the different needs of individual group members have to be addressed to encourage cooperation, even under competitive circumstances. Therefore, we focus on the development of computer-assisted tools that facilitate the communication process to enhance judgment and decision-making in groups.

In the project, we use visualizations of different options in a decision-making process that can be manipulated at a multi-touch table, to enhance the communication process. External representations play an important role in cognitive psychology. Notes, gestures, sketches, and other modes of representation allow humans to overcome the biological limits of the working memory and to establish a deeper, more insightful understanding of the subject in joint discussions. Moreover, new technologies harbor unprecedented opportunities for tool-assisted communication, especially in the context of group work. The possibility of joint manipulations of data, the application of different filters, and exhaustive graphic visualizations allow a more interactive communication process than in traditional media. In this context, we conduct basic research in user interface design and investigate patterns of group interactions with digital interfaces, to improve group discussions and decrease the impact of biases on their judgments and decisions.

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  • Prof. Dr. Martina Schraudner, Fraunhofer Institut (CeRRI)

  • Prof. Dr. Claudia Müller-Birn, Freie Universität Berlin (HCC)

  • Müller, T., & Rahn, J. (2019). Towards Design Patterns for Multi-Touch Tables as Decision-Making Tools. Working Paper 12/2019.

About the project