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An idea ontology for innovation management

: Riedl, C.; May, N.; Finzen, J.; Stathel, S.; Kaufman, V.; Krcmar, H.


International journal on semantic web and information systems 5 (2009), Nr.4, S.1-18
ISSN: 1552-6283
ISSN: 1552-6291
Fraunhofer IAO ()

Exchanging and analyzing ideas across different software tools and repositories is needed to implement the concepts of open innovation and holistic innovation management. However, a precise and formal definition for the concept of an idea is hard to obtain. In this paper, the authors introduce an ontology to represent ideas. This ontology provides a common language to foster interoperability between tools and to support the idea life cycle. Through the use of an ontology, additional benefits like semantic reasoning and automatic analysis become available. Our proposed ontology captures both a core idea concept that covers the 'heart of the idea' and further concepts to support collaborative idea development, including rating, discussing, tagging, and grouping ideas. This modular approach allows the idea ontology to be complemented by additional concepts like customized evaluation methods. The authors present a case study that demonstrates how the ontology can be used to achieve interoperability between innovation tools and to answer questions relevant for innovation managers that demonstrate the advantages of semantic reasoning.