The Role of the ICTS in Knowledge Transfer: A Special Focus in Fraunhofer AICOS

The Role of the ICTS in Knowledge Transfer: A Special Focus in Fraunhofer AICOS

Mónica L. Azevedo (Portucalense University, Portugal), Óscar Afonso (University of Porto, Portugal) and Paulo B. Vasconcelos (University of Porto, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5849-1.ch001

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to review the increasing importance of knowledge in society in general and in the economy in particular. Knowledge transfer is more and more important at different levels (e.g., micro and macro-level). The authors also intend to show the role played by ICTs in knowledge transfer. To illustrate this, they use some examples of institutions in Portugal. Specifically, they explore the case of Fraunhofer AICOS. Under the umbrella of the ICT4D concept, it is analyzed as ICTs can be used to surpass some difficulties of the least developing countries. However, there are also difficulties related to the acceptance and adoption of ICT solutions, as well as special requirements imposed by the reality of the countries.
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Background

As information and knowledge become more and more relevant, in this section a brief overview on knowledge and innovation, presenting a bibliographic review and introducing the most relevant concepts,

Knowledge has become an essential resource for organizations (Gassmann, 2006) and, therefore, it has been considered one of the engines of the economy (Ancori et al., 2000; OECD, 2013; Silva and Neves, 2003). In fact, the term ‘knowledge-based economy’ has been frequently applied. According to OECD/EUROSTAT (2005), this expression is used to define trends in developed economies concerning a bigger dependence on knowledge, information and high skill levels as well as the growing necessity for ready access to the latter by the private and public sectors. Skyrme (1997) emphasizes the main differences between traditional economy and knowledge economy. The Portuguese Norm NP 4457:2007 (Instituto Português da Qualidade, 2007b) considers that knowledge is the basis of the wealth creation in advanced societies and I&D (investigation and development) are a way of creating that knowledge. Therefore, innovation is how that knowledge is transformed into economic development. From the recognition that knowledge is a more and more fundamental asset for organizations, it appeared the ‘knowledge management’ concept. Knowledge management can be considered as the series of procedures and means to generate, use and transfer knowledge in an organization (Silva & Neves, 2003). Lee and Yang (2000, p. 784) consider that knowledge management is the collection of processes that govern the creation, dissemination and leveraging of knowledge to fulfill organizational objectives.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Open Innovation: A concept brought by Henry Chesbrough as opposed to Closed Innovation; in accordance with this concept organizations are encouraged to use external sources of research, development and/or innovation as well as to share these kinds of resources with other.

Knowledge-Based Economy: An economy where knowledge is the key asset.

Tacit Knowledge: A term promoted by Polanyi to address that kind of knowledge which is difficult to express and formalize.

Knowledge Transfer: The flow of knowledge (tacit or explicit) between entities (including universities, organizations, and individuals).

ICT4D: The use of ICTs solutions to address issues related to countries’ development.

Explicit Knowledge: Knowledge that is easily codified and expressed.

SECI model: A model proposed by Nonaka and Takeuchi in which knowledge is created in a spiral process that includes four modes of knowledge transfer: socialization, externalization, combination, and internalization.

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