Innovation & Interface Management





Using fuel cell technology, hydrogen can be used in cars as an alternative to petrol-based or electric cars. From a sustainability perspective this might be the better alternative but it would require an entirely new infrastructure with standard interfaces between the cars and the ‘fuel’ stations in this infrastructure.

Course Description

The possible new technology competes against existing ones, the question is how to measure environmental performance, serious safety issues apply, and companies compete with each other but also need a common solution in order to make things happen. So at the supply side we observe a dynamic process of cooperation and competition between a large variety of stakeholders which should result in products (or services) that will be accepted in the market while addressing societal needs, and for which shared interface specifications are essential. Interfaces link the different parts of the system and link the system to human beings. These interface specifications should remain stable during a longer time period, which allows innovations in other parts of the system, such as the cars. This process is named standardization. Increasingly, innovation is about integrated systems of products and services rather than single products or services and this course provides you with knowledge and skills on you how to manage interfaces in. such innovation projects.

Course Outline

  1. Introduction – Role Playing Game
  2. History of Interface Management and Standardisation; Standardisation at Global, Regional and National level; Tracing and Classifying Stakeholders
  3. Impacts of Standards, Modes of Standardisation
  4. Managing the Human Interface
  5. Conformity Assessment and Legal Aspects
  6. Company Visit
  7. Systems Approach to Interface Management

Learning Objectives

This course aims to provide you with basic knowledge about interface management and, next, its integration in innovation management. This should enable you to develop and employ a strategy for an individual company, a supply chain or a branch of business on how to manage product or service innovation in combination with interfaces. After this course you:

  • Understand the role of interfaces in complex systems of processes, products and services and in innovation of these;
  • Understand the role of standards to specify interfaces;
  • Understand how involvement in standardisation enables companies to influence interface specifications in a multi-stakeholder setting;
  • Apply interface management to support innovation management;
  • Develop and employ a strategy on how to integrate innovation and interface management to enable responsible innovation.

Assessment
For each of the assignments, individuals and groups will receive a grade (1-10). The final grade will be weighted average of the grades for the different assignments.

  • 30 % of the grade: participate in the research by being present and engaging in all sessions; publish research on collaborative research platform in an accessible manner for other students and external stakeholders; and prepare a presentation of work for a larger audience at the end of the quarter.
  • 30 % of the grade: Small Individual Assignments
  • 40 % of the grade: Written Report

Re-sit examination possibility: to be discussed with individual students in line with examination regulations. The re-sit assignment has to be done within a month after completion of the original assignment. 

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