Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Designing services in science and technology-based enterprises

Funding sucess! With my colleagues James Tansey (James Martin Institute, science and technology studies), Victor Seidel (innovation studies) and Fiona Reid (director, Oxford Science Enterprise Centre), I put together a proposal which we submitted to the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's Designing for the 21st Century initiative.
Designing services in science and technology-based enterprises involves a group of academics (mostly within social sciences), designers, and technology and science entrepreneurs from a range of disciplines working together to explore how services as designed in science and technology-based enterprises. We have recently heard that the project has been awarded funding and will spend the next 12 months undertaking the project. It involves two kinds of engagement:
- four short projects in which service designers help early stage technology and science entrepreneurs based in Oxford design their services (likely to be B2B) (one design company with each enterprise), taking place February-May 2007
- five events held over a year at SBS, which reflect on these encounters and attempt to develop a cross-disciplinary vocabulary for service design in science and technology enterprises.
Design company participants include: live|work, IDEO, and Radarstation (and one more to be confirmed). Science and technology enterprise participants are currently being approached; they are likely to include companies offering services in biotechnology and information technologies.
Confirmed academic participants include Tony Dunne (Royal College of Art, interaction design), Bill Hollins (Westminster Business School, service operations), Leonieke Zomerdijk (London Business School, service operations), Jennifer Whyte (Tanaka Business School, innovation studies). Within SBS, academic participants include Mari Sako (strategy), Steve New (operations) and Dan Neyland (James Martin Institute). Within Oxford University, participants include Andrew Barry (Oxford Centre for the Environment) and Marina Jirotka (ComLab).
The project's broad research questions ask how participants' ideas about the designing of services change during the project once they are exposed to the approaches and practices within other disciplines and contexts. Outputs will include a publication of the shared vocabulary developed in the project, as well as more traditional academic outputs such as papers for journals and conferences.

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