Dr. Colin Keogh

School

University College Dublin

Year

2020

Keywords

innovation, methodology, open innovation, business, open source

Thesis Title

“Development of a Novel Methodology for Applied Innovation Practice”

Abstract

Innovation is one of the key drivers of technological, economic and social development around the world, with innovative solutions to some of the most common or complex problems resulting in world-changing technologies, businesses and concepts. While these innovations may seem to appear suddenly and then revolutionise the world in which we live at a rapid pace, in fact, the development of these innovations is complex and often invisible from surface-level view. Often, at least in the past, innovations came from the commercial and professional technological sectors and then transferred into mainstream use. But today, and in the future, the contributions of non-expert innovators to a more inclusive innovation ecosystem will make an increasing impact, so contributions from the public are also required. In order to facilitate user input into the process, as well as to increase impact from those more familiar with the innovation space, the concept of an ‘innovation methodology’ has developed. This thesis contributes to the emergent field of Innovation Methodology.

An innovation methodology is a structured process that guides a user through the process of innovation, providing support, guidance and tools for use during innovation activities. Whilst there are a growing number of innovation activities in the general public domain due to the increased availability of rapid prototyping tools such as 3d printers et al., still, it is apparent that the most popular and impactful methodologies have a number of core advantages and disadvantages to be considered by users for maximum impact. These characteristics must be carefully assessed, evaluated and refined to develop the core aspects of an impactful innovation methodology. This thesis outlines that process of engagement, analysis, application and impact.

The thesis thus grounds its core contributions in the main field of Innovation Methodologies, and extends carefully into specific areas of the cognate fields of STEM, Business and Social Impact, with the goal of examining the development of the practices of innovation in a number of fields over time, allowing the framing of the concept and potential areas of application. The aim of the project is the investigation, analysis and evaluation of currently proposed innovation methods & processes, in order to identify the most successful practices, details and inputs into these processes. This research is supported by the utilised research tools of bibliometric keyword evaluation, heuristic assessment and expert user input gathered via a structured survey which collected qualitative insights from these expert users. The data gathered through this process was analysed and applied to a proposal of a new innovation methodology: the “Double Helix Innovation” methodology, aimed at directly applied innovation action by “non-expert” users. In order to enable and enhance the successful future application of this methodology, a model of praxis - involving a selection of internal and external tools -was also developed.

The original and substantial contributions to knowledge offered via this thesis are: a new topography of current innovation methods, a categorisation of the highly impactful aspects of these methods, and a new applied innovation methodology and supporting praxis, named the “Double Helix Innovation” method, which has been strongly influenced by the best practice models and aspects of current methods, and refined to provide an easier to use, more flexible methodology to allow more people to innovate and create solutions to today’s interdisciplinary problems.

It is hoped that this thesis will make a substantial original contribution to knowledge in the field of Innovation Methodology, with impact and applications for all practitioners & all cognate fields, and for scholars, engineers, artists and other practitioners in the open innovation ecosystem.

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Bio

Dr.Colin Keogh is an award-winning innovative Engineer, with qualifications & experience in innovative technologies in the Engineering, Business and Innovation sectors. He is currently supporting the innovation and commercialisation of large EU funded research projects as an innovation consultant with Inlecom Commercial Pathways. He has lead new research in the Energy, SDG’s, Additive Manufacturing and Innovation fields at UCD, with a focus on technology forecasting, enhanced innovation methodologies, additive manufacturing, applied impact and integrating advanced technologies into social, environmental, philanthropic and entrepreneurial activities. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s in Energy Systems Engineering from UCD. His PhD in Engineering was completed at UCD focusing on assessing global innovation methodologies leading to the development of his own advanced Innovation Methodology. He was the youngest winners of an Irish Research Council Research Award, winning the 2020 Irish Research Council Impact Award.

He co-founded a social enterprise in 2014, The Rapid Foundation, which aims to disperse 3d printing technology to 3rd world locations and conduct printing workshops with schools in the UK and Ireland. Its goal is to change the way developmental aid is distributed, and improve the innovation potential of all people, regardless of their circumstances. This work resulted in him being named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 for Europe in Science and Healthcare, as one of JCI’s Ten Outstanding Young People, as a Nissan Generation Next Ambassador and as IT & Tech Professional of the Year.

Colin is also cofounder of Sapien Innovation, an innovation consultancy specialising in applied innovation, creativity and design thinking services and co-founder of TeamOSV, one of the worlds largest open source projects aimed at developing low-cost ventilators in response to global supply shortages. He is also an active technology consultant and developer, advising a number of companies and bodies, from small start-ups to government departments, in areas such as disruptive technologies, engineering practice, advanced energy systems, innovation, design and early stage growth & prototyping. He is a leader in the Irish start-up space, and has supported innovation actions with organisations including Techstars, European Innovation Council, Unesco, Revolut, Air Asia, HSE, EIT, Rehab Group, National Learning Network, Technical University Dublin, TCD Tangent, UCD Innovation Academy and Dublin City Council.