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What is Innovation?

At Innovation we rely on a broad definition by OECD (2018):
"An innovation is a new or improved product or process (or combination thereof) that differs significantly from the unit’s previous products or process and that has been made available to potential users (product) or brought into use by the unit (process)."

We have a broad and interdisciplinary profile of innovation research, where we provide explanations, understanding, frameworks, methods and tools to tackle grand challenges like the ones related to the sustainable development goals. We study the outcomes and performance of innovation activities, the innovation process (how to get new insights, explore and implement new products and processes), the methods and tools used in the innovation process, as well as development of innovation methods and development of individual innovation skills.

Our research can be summarized in the following areas: 

A "business model" involves how firms create, deliver and capture value. As such, it is an abstract and complex concept.

So how do companies understand their business models and work with them? What is the interaction between product development and business models? And how can we as researchers support companies' business model innovation efforts? These are questions that we focus on in our business model research. 

This research area focuses on emergent technologies and digitalisation. We emphasize development and design of innovative solutions and methods originating in new technology and digitalisation. We address topics such as additive manufacturing, design optimization, generative design, mass customization, bio-mimetic design, new materials and smart devices.

This research area focuses on development and design of solutions, where products and services are combined, to promote social, environmental, and economic sustainability while serving stakeholders and meeting end-user needs. We use a product life cycle perspective. Our topics include design to support new business models for circularity, product life cycle management, developing and implementing sustainability-driven technology, and design for sustainable user behavior.

This research area focuses on how organizations use and apply such resources as processes, people, tools, and technology. We study how organizations use the resources effectively to develop desirable products and services. Engagement with effective strategy and operations ranges from early phase activities such as technology development and product planning to late phase activities such as product introduction. We address topics such as lean and agile product development, engineering design methods and tools, inter- and intra-organizational collaboration, and global project teams.

This research area focuses on the design of products, services, and systems for user interaction. People assign value to products or services through use in different contexts. Understanding product experience requires considering the subjective experience of a product. It also involves the meaning and value that people attribute to products, and the feelings and emotions that these products evoke.

Active experiences involve physical interaction with products or services. Passive experiences involve perceiving, remembering, or thinking about products and services. The physical and cognitive abilities of users play a role, as do user skills. Specific product characteristics work together with the user expectations and requirements to shape interaction, interpretation, and use.

Design for product experience requires addressing all aspects of the interaction between human beings, products, and services in the comprehensive interplay of behavior. Our topics include perceptions of designed products, interactions arising in use, and resulting behavior, along with interpretations, cognitive, emotional, and motor skills.

This research theme focuses on innovations that contribute to sustainability in diverse areas, and makes climate, business and life on earth more sustainable.

Specifically these areas involve climate, energy, environment, waste management and digital transformation.

Page Manager:  | 2021-10-25
the global goals logo.

Global Goals at Design Sciences, LTH

Innovation is part of the department of Design Sciences. At Design Sciences, we start out from the UN’s Global Goals to create sustainable living conditions for everyone. For us, it’s about designing technologies and environments for the good of all people based on these sustainability goals.

Innovation and the Global Goals

Innovation research supports the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, and in line with the Faculty of Engineering’s vision also clusters around the five main areas of climate, life, digitalization, industry, and environment. In particular, we look at specific areas such as healthcare, renewable energy, cloud computing, life sciences, information technology, additive manufacturing, and retail trade.