10The Production and Innovation Knowledge Repository

10.1. Introduction

A virtual enterprise is a networked organization where different autonomous entities collaborate toward a common goal. The business innovation in virtual enterprise environment (BIVEE) project introduces the notion of virtual innovation factory (VIF) as an innovation-oriented virtual enterprise whose goal is to support the production of innovation. Production of innovation takes place in the business innovation space (BIS), where active entities, such as the research and development (R&D) innovation teams, final users, partners or even competing companies and other actors, operate. Operational processes pertaining to the BIS define the core innovation value chain: sourcing raw ideas, transforming them into products (goods and services), and marketing and delivering new products. Finally, processes for the planning and monitoring of innovation projects conducted1 in the BIS characterize the managerial level of a VIF. All these kinds of activities require intensive collaboration, communication and interaction, and ultimately a high level of knowledge sharing among the involved autonomous actors. Indeed, knowledge is the main factor that enables continuous innovation in a world of rapidly changing markets, products, services and technologies (see, for example, [NON 00] for a thorough discussion of the notion of knowledge and its role in enterprise management). Efficient access to knowledge resources is, however, ...

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