In this paper, we present a work-in-progress web-based framework to enable collective innovation via a combination of top-down structural and bottom-up self-organized processes in global enterprises. Problem: In current organizations, expertise is usually locked in discipline-specific project teams or departments based on existing product portfolios which restricts collective innovation through distributed networks of peers translating into increased innovation. Innovation projects are managed in stage gate processes using tools (such as proprietary project workspaces or product data management) that limit access to solutions on various levels of maturity/abstraction throughout the enterprise. Approach: Our approach to facilitate collective innovation in the early stages of product development involves identification and implementation of the following collective innovation mechanisms a) collective concept creation, b) collective concept selection, and c) collective information management. These innovation mechanisms are being instantiated in a web-enabled COllective INnovation (COIN) framework to synthesize collaborative bottom-up and structured top-down approaches fostering innovation. The COIN framework is thus based on self-organized collective innovation as well as function-based systematic conceptual design approaches thereby embodying both collaborative bottom-up and structured top-down structured aspects. From the proposed approach to collective innovation through innovation mechanisms and web enabled tools for implementing collaborative bottom-up and structured top-down structured aspects, global enterprises can benefit from the COIN-framework in fostering synergetic R&D-collaborations, know-how transfer and technology scouting during the early stages of product development. The value to global enterprises can further be significantly increased through application-tailored subspaces consisting of a collection of entities, loosely related by user-defined information links (e.g., tags), as exemplified for a sealing subspace and corkscrew design example in this paper.

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