Definition of the architecture of a Crowdsourcing Innovation intermediary service for the SMEs


There has been a large interest in the Open Innovation phenomenon and in the Crowdsourcing as an Open Innovation model by academics and practitioners. However, these studies and discussions have focused large companies.
Due to the lack of structure and resources, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) usually do not have the capacity to have formal R&D structures. They are forced to catch short windows of opportunities, often in collaboration with other SMEs or larger companies within their contacts. We believe that the use of the Crowdsourcing Innovation model by SMEs could be of great benefit. With the help of an adequate Crowdsourcing Innovation intermediary, these companies would be involved in a network able to generate useful and reachable ideas, knowledge and technology. By being involved in such a wide and rich network, more new ideas can be generated, more new ideas can be turned into new or better products and more of these can reach the market.
This research follows a Design Science research methodology, based on qualitative data. The iterative building and evaluation of this architecture, in this case based on acquired qualitative data, should result, in the end of the four years of this project in the validated architecture of an intermediary Crowdsourcing Innovation service for the SMEs and a prototype for the supporting web platform.

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