Establishing and leveraging networks in design education innovation projects

Nicholas Spencer, Roderick Walden, Chin Hong Leong, Mark Bailey, Mersha Aftab

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Project networking is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from individuals, groups and organisations external to a project's core team. The ability to establish and leverage networks is an increasingly important component of developing open innovation practices within many industries. This research examines the strategies and tactics employed by multidisciplinary undergraduate and postgraduate students to finding, forming and utilising idea-supporting networks. Three academic institutions, Northumbria University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and The University of Technology Sydney, brought together a multidisciplinary collection of students and academics to explore hand hygiene solutions in their respective domestic culture and a foreign culture. While each of the student teams aimed to produce design research that uncovered opportunities for social benefit and profit, the project concurrently sought to explore two research questions: 1) what approaches to establishing networks in innovation projects emerge during a globally connected educational programme and 2) what value is leveraged to support project development? This research builds on work about Open Innovation Networks focusing on idea development and reports findings about innovation enhancement and innovation suppression that emerged as a result of distributed digital design research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
Subtitle of host publicationDesign Education and Human Technology Relations, E and PDE 2014
PublisherInstitution of Engineering Designers, The Design Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781904670568
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event16th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2014 - University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 4 Sept 20145 Sept 2014


Conference16th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2014


  • Innovation
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Networked intelligence
  • Project networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Education


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