Data and knowledge management technologies are of strategic importance for industrial innovation,
provided they are integrated in the company processes, in the organisational structure, and can be
flexibly adapted to company evolution. In particular the Product Development Process (PDP) of
manufacturing companies, requires the efficient management of huge amounts of data from different
sources and their integration in the subprocesses that compose the product chain. The efficient use of
information lifecycle, by the large adoption of virtual testing and by the inter-functional management
of related data in the product management would become a strategic advantage for the innovation race.
Present ICT solutions separately address parts of product development, but an integrated approach that
includes data and services required for the whole Product Development Process does not yet exist. iProd
will improve the efficiency and quality of the Product Development Process developing a flexible, service
oriented, customer driven software framework that will be the backbone of computer systems associated
with current and new development processes.
To achieve these goals, iProd will rely on knowledge management (KM), knowledge based engineering (KBE) and process integration and automation technologies.iProd will assume the challenge of complexity, semantic diversity and richness of content establishing semantically rich, open and transparent methodologies that will enable knowledge workers from aerospace, automotive and home appliances industries to manage product and process complexity, managing higher value information like functional specifications, requirements, decision rationale and engineering and business knowledge in general. This knowledge base along with a reasoning engine will support information sharing, collaboration across companies, common understanding of PDP among different industries and will promote efficient decision taking.