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Unlocking knowledge worker productivity - research project ACTIVE

European research project ACTIVE develops a new technology for boosting the productivity of knowledge workers.

Knowledge-driven companies are facing a challenge: they need to boost the productivity of their knowledge workers to be competitive. Current information systems, however, do not provide sufficient support for addressing this challenge. They make it cumbersome and time-consuming to share information and offer little support for informal knowledge processes. The EU-funded research project ACTIVE has been created to overcome these deficiencies. ACTIVE will develop a solution that enables easy knowledge sharing, informal knowledge processes, and a smooth workflow based on context-relevant information. In the consumer world services like flickr and del.icio.us have shown how information can be shared with easy-to-use informal tags. ACTIVE aims to combine this approach with the more rigorous approach to knowledge sharing commonly used in organisations, so as to get the best of both worlds – the formal and the informal. Knowledge processes are created by people on the fly, as and when they want them. But they are frequently soon forgotten, even by their creators, and then reinvented. ACTIVE aims to capture those processes, so they can be re-used by their creators and others – an important part of sharing the hidden intelligence within enterprises. Knowledge workers want information to be filtered – to have easy access to the relevant and to screen out the irrelevant. They only want to be interrupted when that interruption is really urgent. The solution to this is the management of context; ACTIVE seeks to learn a user’s context and thereby tailor the user’s experience to the current context of his or her work. The goal throughout is to create transferable, interoperable and actionable knowledge to support seamless collaboration and enable problem solving. In order to achieve this goal and boost knowledge worker productivity, ACTIVE will develop an integrated and contextualised workspace, the ACTIVE Knowledge Workspace, which combines Web 2.0 applications with context-based and semantic technologies. The ACTIVE Knowledge Workspace will go beyond existing software by integrating hitherto isolated solutions into a whole. “The ACTIVE Knowledge Workspace will significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of knowledge workers. It will boost the power of informal knowledge exchange that traditionally has taken place in conversations at the water cooler,” explains ACTIVE Project Director Paul Warren from BT. The results of ACTIVE are relevant to all knowledge work; initially ACTIVE will deploy its knowledge workspace solution in three industry sectors: consulting, telecommunications and engineering. The added value of the ACTIVE technology will be evaluated in economic, organisational, and user studies, with comprehensive field tests. “We are confident that the technology developed by ACTIVE will be taken up by knowledge-driven enterprises in Europe and beyond,” says Paul Warren. About ACTIVE ACTIVE is an Integrated Project co-funded by the European Commission under EU Framework Programme 7. It is running for three years from March 2008 to February 2011. ACTIVE aims to increase the productivity of knowledge workers in a pro-active, contextualised, yet easy and unobtrusive way. The project goal is to develop an integrated and contextualised workspace that supports the conversion of tacit and unshared knowledge into transferable, interoperable and actionable knowledge. The ACTIVE consortium consists of 12 European partners from industry and academia, who are each leading players in their field.

Countries

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia