Research Technology Management

Improving the front end of innovation with information technology

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OVERVIEW: The so-called fuzzy front end would seem to be the stage of innovation least suited to the use of information systems and technology, tools usually applied to repeatable processes and those amenable to formal specification. Yet, many companies have learned that information technology can help increase their innovators' productivity even before those innovations become formal projects. Information systems can help with collaboration, knowledge sharing, competitive intelligence, and in many other ways to help people generate ideas that are both creative and potentially valuable. This research examines the best practices of companies that use information technology to support the front end of their innovation processes. © 2008 Industrial Research Institute, Inc.