Research

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 RESEARCH LABORATORY ON INNOVATION PROCESS

Innovation as a research field

 

ERPI is a research laboratory in the field of industrial engineering. Our activities focus on innovation processes. We aim at a better understanding of innovation management practices within innovative companies. Moreover new methodologies and tools are proposed in order to improve the management of projects characterized by newness and to increase the emergence of such projects. Specific knowledge, abilities and behaviours related to innovation are an other major concern of the team.

More specially, an emphasis is put on the first steps of the innovation process: from the emergence of ideas to the drawing phases of manufactured products or the definitive formulation of chemical articles.

Taking the international literature into account, one particular point of our research activity remains to consider the new product as a global technological system. The product is represented by its own specification but also by all the characteristics of its related industrial activities: production, maintenance, distribution among others. This highlights a constructivist approach of innovation.

Two main research themes:

–         acceptability evaluation of new concepts: elaboration of a metrics of acceptability at each step of the innovative process. This integrates prospective approaches;

–        innovation project memory: research on the identification, the selection, the modelisation and the capitalisation of knowledge emerging during the very first stages of innovative projects.

The team

20 researchers collaborate within the laboratory. Different competencies may be listed: engineering sciences, educational sciences and management. About ten young researchers are preparing a PhD. The laboratory is member of the International Association on Management of Technology and IFACS.

Main research themes

Two main research themes:

–          acceptability evaluation of new concepts: elaboration of a metrics of acceptability at each step of the innovative process. This integrates prospective approaches;

–        innovation project memory: research on the identification, the selection, the modelisation and the capitalisation of knowledge emerging during the very first stages of innovative projects.

Lorraine Fab Living Lab: the experimental platform

ERPI has developed an experimental platform dedicated to the first steps of innovation: « the Lorraine Fab Living Lab ». Thanks the LFLL, it is possible to observe on going projects and to test new methodologies. The platform integrates a computer space with innovation software (Triz, QFD, Value Analysis, technological survey among others), an area dedicated to creativity, equipments to organise multicriteria tests of new products (Tactile table) and a prototype workshop (Fab Lab).

ERPI: a laboratory within the Lorraine University (UL)

ERPI is one of the 80 research laboratories of Lorraine University, a federation of engineering colleges in Lorraine. This represents more than 3700 permanent researchers and 2000 postgraduates.

International collaboration

ERPI welcome researchers coming from other laboratories all over the world. We are able to organise the practical organisation of research period for colleagues and PhD. Our university provides financial funds to academic projects associating two laboratories.