A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Developing an Innovative Stroke Rehabilitative Device
Dosun Shin, IDSA, Peter J. Wolf, Donald E. Herring and Thomas G. Sugar | Arizona State University
Collaboration, Assistive Technology, and the Role of Product Designers
These days, it’s generally accepted that collaboration and innovation go hand in hand. According to a recent article in Design Management Journal, “much of the current thinking and research dealing with innovation and new product development holds that a multidisciplinary approach should be used when developing new products” . Fortunately, trends in industry and academia generally support such an approach. Many research initiatives now feature multiple disciplines and different modes of thinking as common elements to address increasingly complex problems. In part, this is simply a result of U.S. federal funding agencies increasing their support for teamwork. “After years in which federal research funds focused largely on discipline-specific projects,” notes an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education , “government agencies are increasingly encouraging collaboration, and appear to be providing a growing amount of money for interdisciplinary research.” And the numbers are substantial: “federal funding for interdisciplinary research and development at U.S. universities climbed to $675 million in 2002, more than double the $330 million in 1997” . Even more impressive, the National Institutes of Health has over the past few years earmarked $2.1 billion over five years specifically for interdisciplinary initiatives .