A new gerontechnology innovation model: Interdisciplinary open innovation orange technology

Shu-Hui Chen, Rong-Shean Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: In the face of an increasingly aged population, Orange Technology development is looking forward to playing a crucial role in Gerontechnology innovation to bring increased happiness and mental wellness to the elderly and thereby enhance the well-being of all society. This paper presents the development of a new innovation model through interdisciplinary open innovation teamwork to commercialize orange technology innovation, supported by the Engineering Section of the National Science Council, to promote 'The Promotion Program of Value-adding to Creative Scenarios with Interdisciplinary Knowledge'. Through solution- call to team up for interdisciplinary cooperation, the team develops concepts from the 'creative ideas' stage to 'feasibility assessment', then to 'prototyping'. The interdisciplinary team of professors' can focus on developing Orange Design gerontechnology products from concept to commercialization. These creative ideas come from various domains such as humanism, management, engineering, bio-techs, etc. There have been 104 out of 181 designs adopted in Orange Technology and 30 Orange Designs have shown executable potential. Among the interdisciplinary teams, actual technological feasibility evaluations have been completed for 14 projects, and prototypes have been developed for nine projects. Method: In order to trigger the process of interdisciplinary collaboration1, the multi-level innovation communities were planned for development by the project office as promoters2 to support development of 'an integrated model of innovative knowledge chains', that provides mechanisms to link market knowledge into each stage of the process of innovation. Community networking3 demonstrates how the cross-discipline value adding community evolved. Each interdisciplinary open team consists of sub-teams that have a professor along with a group of students from design, engineering and management disciplines. The sub-teams from different disciplines have to collaborate with each other to achieve the project goal. Substantial communication among these teams leads to the exploitation of new knowledge in the form of new system or product developments. Results & Discussion: The R&D process has contributed to a new innovative model of development, in which a unique learning and knowledge integration model has been created. During the process, one variation from a sub-team might trigger a collective new direction that is different from the original design. While the established disciplinary systems may be good at promoting high quality research within existing boundaries, they are often less effective in supporting the exploitation of new knowledge that challenges those very boundaries4. This promotional promoting program has been supported to facilitate the interdisciplinary open collaboration designed to tackle the boundary and challenge current limits. The heuristic learning nature of such a cross- disciplinary knowledge integration process is different from traditional lab or project specific discipline mentor-advisors and calls for further discussions.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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