The Knowledge Management Laboratory (KMLab) operates in the field of knowledge management with specific focus on technology management. Its main goal is to favor local and regional development by combining advanced perspectives developed through scientific research and practical industry experience. Accordingly, the KMLab conducts cutting-edge research to develop new approaches and methodologies for managing business, organizational, and technological knowledge. In turn, this research is used to provide firms and public organizations with the necessary support to successfully improve their operational and innovation capacity.
In detail, the research activities of the KMLab mainly cover the following topics.
• Environmental sustainability. It delves into the definition of strategies for developing and commercializing green technologies, products, and processes and the implementation of the most suitable practices (e.g., life-cycle assessment, industrial symbiosis, and energy system analysis) for supporting the greening of business at the corporate, local, and national level.
• Open innovation. This research stream evaluates the weakness, strengths, and opportunities of web-based markets and crowdsourcing strategies for buying and selling technologies and ideas between organizations (i.e., market for ideas) and how this external knowledge can be integrated within the organizations’ processes.
• Technology scouting and forecasting. The third topic attempts to provide tools and techniques to keep pace with the most recent technological knowledge and forecast future technological paradigms, so making companies in a better position to react to compete in a turbulent market environment.
• Supply chain management. This theme aims at developing a better comprehension of the most effective practices for coordinating manufacturing processes and logistic flows both within and between organizations, by adopting the support of IT tools, simulation modelling of productive and organizational systems, and business process reingineering.
• Network analysis. Given the increasing relevance of collaborating to improve performance and overall economic and social growth, the last topic analyzes and proposes best practices, solutions, and models that may help policymakers and firms to gain advantage from networking strategies, as the case of industrial clusters, M&A, and alliances.
These research activities allow the KMLab to provide relevant services, as consulting, education, intelligence, and networking. First, consulting offers support to companies and public organizations that want to improve their performance and achieve sustainable competitive advantage. Thus, they are helped to identify and implement opportunities for business process reengineering or innovative ideas. Second, the KMLab also provides companies and public organizations with dedicated education and training programs that let them develop new skills, problem solving and operational techniques, and build new strategic and organizational orientations. Third, intelligence refers to activities devoted to perform customized studies designed specifically for the needs of the diverse organizations aiming at comprehending the best practices in given industries, scan for the evolution of technologies and markets, and benchmark with competitors. Finally, the KMLab can act as broker between multiple organizations, hence allowing them to meet each other and access experts in business, markets, technologies, and policies.