Thesis Proposal

Knowledge repositories for Crowdsourcing innovation intermediaries is the working area of my PhD research.


A crowdsourcing innovation intermediary performs mediation activities between companies, which have a problem to solve or seek a business opportunity, and a group of people motivated to present ideas based on their knowledge, experience and wisdom, taking advantage of technology sharing and collaboration emerging from Web2.0.

The intermediaries known don´t have, yet, an integrated vision that combines the creation of value through community development, brokering and technology transfer.

This research project aims to analyze these intermediaries and to develop an architecture of a consensual ontology of crowdsourcing innovation, enabling the sharing and reuse of relevant knowledge, contributing to a better understanding of this model of open innovation and business for intermediaries; and from this, to develop a conceptual architecture of an interoperable repository of knowledge that enables effective support and integration activities developed in the process of value creation (community building, brokering and technology transfer).

Thus, the research question of this project is:
What integrated IT-based architecture of a knowledge repository can support crowdsourcing innovation intermediaries?

Main Definitions:

Knowledge repository

A knowledge repository is a system that supports all kind of data, from a variety of heterogeneous sources, such as structured data (e.g. relational databases), semi-formatted data (e.g. XML, HTML, RDF files), text documents (e.g. plain text files, word processor files, PDF files), and binary data (e.g. image, audio, software files), within an organization.

The main functions of a knowledge repository are the capture, storage, maintenance and retrieval of knowledge from all the available sources. These functions must include both the capabilities for assimilating knowledge from outside (such as competitive intelligence systems acquiring information about other companies in the same industry) and capabilities for creating new knowledge from the reinterpretation and reformulation of existing and newly acquired information.

The principal challenge of knowledge repositories is to insert and maintain integrated all the heterogeneous data objects.

Crowdsourcing innovation intermediaries

A crowdsourcing innovation intermediary is an organization that mediates the communication and relationship between the seekers – companies that aspire to solve some problem or to take advantage of any business opportunity – with a crowd that is prone to give ideas based on their knowledge, experience and wisdom.

The crowd is composed by groups of specialists in different areas:
  • individual researchers
  • research team
  • labs
  • post-graduate students
  • highly qualified individuals