A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     What is e-Knowledge?   © SCUP 2003
  Page 16      

Pioneering Examples of e-Knowledge (continued)



Chapter 1

What is e-Knowledge?

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  • business plans for each course;
  • support for marketing globally, with options that include using e-Universities Worldwide as a shared brand, or marketing courses using the name of the originating institution(s); and
  • a shared knowledge base on experiences in strategic positioning of courses and in marketing courses and managing their presentation, directly or through local agents.

Taken together, those approaches should help universities to determine the likely market for a proposed course, develop and update the course in a timely and cost-effective fashion, and maximize the market for their course and any derivatives of it.

The kinds of knowledge resources that are available to be leveraged in this initiative include process knowledge (know-how regarding the development of e-learning material); subject-matter knowledge (know-how regarding user needs in particular subject areas and for particular purposes); other intellectual property (ranging from research-derived knowledge, captured in patents or otherwise disclosed to specialist audiences, but potentially available for use in e-knowledge courses, products, and services); and primary resources (ranging from world experts who may be willing to participate in on-line discussions between students and mentors, to access to digitized versions of knowledge assets held in university museums and libraries).

We anticipate that initiatives such as the
e-U will result in the development of follow-on opportunities, in which universities can work with third parties (e.g., publishers, corporate, universities) to become e-knowledge suppliers to a wider range of audiences than they can reach through their traditional channels. They may also be able to enrich the content and context of the offerings from other universities.


Industry-wide Knowledge Sharing Helps German Industry to Compete

The Fraunhofer Institute (Europe’s largest R&D organization, with laboratories across Germany) is coordinating national strategy on knowledge-based manufacturing. Its goal is to enable companies in Germany and other parts of the European Union to compete more effectively across the world. Relative to the United States, for example, the key commercial challenges they face are an unfavorable exchange rate and an historic difficulty in getting sufficient return on the investment they make in designing new products. Their public strategy is to use knowledge management to tackle the second of these challenges. They aim to make it easier and more affordable for even small manufactures to incorporate innovations in their products that users will value (such as modifications tailored to each user.) By reducing the time-to-market of those innovations the initiative could maximize the time they can be competitive in the marketplace.

In a pilot project ending in 2001, German industry and the German government committed the equivalent of about US$30 million to a national project, coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute, to explore ways to speed up the effective use of knowledge about advances in manufacturing. The approaches used included studies of knowledge codification and sharing at every stage in manufacturing, and the role of partner organizations, such as universities and training organizations, in the associated communities of practice.

German industry has invested the equivalent of US$30 million to a national project to explore ways to speed up the effective use of knowledge about advances in manufacturing. Larger follow-through projects are envisaged at the European level.



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  We don’t know how to live in a real time, boundaryless world. We will have to learn.
Regis McKenna