In innovative companies, knowledge is intrinsically linked to the tools of work. Despite this, current approaches to knowledge sharing and reuse fail to integrate these tools into the learning organisation. These companies are also faced with the contradiction of needing to collaborate with other companies whilst protecting the private knowledge that gives them competitive advantage. The CLOCKWORK project focuses on the engineering domain. It will combine knowledge rich dynamical simulation tools, formal documentation and informal rationale to closely integrate working, learning, collaboration and negotiation, within and between organisations. This involves the extension and integration of previous work on agents, knowledge modelling, document discourse tools, simulation and machine learning.
The CLOCKWORK business objectives are to support:
1) open knowledge sharing within distributed teams for work practice improvement,
2) knowledge reuse within an organisation for productivity enhancement and innovation stimulation, and
3) cautious knowledge sharing for collaboration and trade between innovation companies.
Integrating working and learning is essential within innovative commercial areas. Trading and collaborating while safeguarding sensitive commercial knowledge is crucial to survival and success. Neither of these commercial needs are successfully supported by current technologies. CLOCKWORK focuses on engineering knowledge created and contained in dynamical simulation models. The project integrates simulation tools with formal documentation, informal design rationale and formal knowledge models to support working while learning and provide a collaboration and trading framework for innovative competitive companies.
The objectives are to support:
1. Knowledge sharing within distributed groups to promote reflection and improve work practices.
2. Knowledge reuse within organisations to enhance productivity and support innovation.
3. Cautious knowledge sharing between companies to create a favourable environment for cooperation and enterprise.
The project aims to facilitate innovation and learning in the workplace, and the empowerment of innovative companies with new methods of trading and collaborating. This work builds upon the state-of-the-art and deals with a number of remaining deficiencies and current challenges in supporting knowledge sharing and reuse, and proposes to test these innovations within industry. In particular, current systems fail to incorporate complex processes of work, in which vital commercial knowledge is held.
The project will be grounded in the dynamical systems engineering domain. The tools and methodology will provide support for context and reflection by integrating the products of work with their associated justification. Sophisticated knowledge level support will be provided for the reuse of integrated accounts of past work that encompass formal documentation, informal rationale and simulation models. Controlled sharing mechanisms will support effective trading and collaboration with knowledge about and contained in simulation tools.
The project partners encompass a range of expertise including organisational learning, dynamical systems engineering, machine learning and knowledge modelling. The project draws on a number of partners' existing tools including intelligent agents, collaborative knowledge modelling tools, digital document discourse environments, simulation tools and machine learning.
The project will take a case-study approach in which from the very beginning industrial user partners will adopt and integrate the tools of the project with their work practices. Their integration of the tools will be conducted in close participation with their respective facilitator partners, who will follow the participatory evolutionary development model to co-evolve effective tools and methodology. The project has strong exploitation potential within the web technologies market, and promotion, dissemination and exploitation will be a key part of the work.
The project milestones are (month of completion in brackets):
All partners have the infrastructure needed for the initial set of tools (3).
First integrated tools ready for testing (9).
Methodology for collaborative development of simulation models (16).
Methodology for reuse of design history of simulation models (25).
Methodology for cautious knowledge sharing (33).
Complete CLOCKWORK toolkit to support knowledge sharing, reuse and cautious knowledge sharing (35).
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
166 36 Praha 6
LE11 3TU Loughborough, Leicestershire