Orchestrating collaboration-using visual collaboration suggestion for steering of research clusters


Interdisciplinary research and large research organizations such as research clusters represent an approach in tackling large complex problems that can not be satisfyingly be answered by individual researchers or disciplines. In order to support the collaboration in these organizations, measures must be taken to foster the flow of information between researchers. As one measure we present a collaboration support tool that helps researchers identify possible collaborators and understand the overall structure of the (often loosely coupled) research organization. Using a participatory design process we first generated requirements for such a solution and integrated them in a design study prototype. This prototype was then tested in a user study with researchers from a research cluster. As key benefits we identified the identification of new knowledge and the confirmation of existing knowledge, along with assistance in problem solving from our visualization. Analysis of results is done qualitatively and quantitatively. We evaluated the tool positively using the system usability scale (84.5) and the net-promoter score (80%). It was furthermore evaluated by the cluster COO, who frames the use of the tool from a managerial point of view and how it can be used in steering processes to ensure success of the overall venture.

In: Procedia Manufacturing, (3), pp. 363–370