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Transdisciplinary Innovation: Connecting Ideas From Professional And User Networks

Ronald C. Beckett, Hardik Vachhrajani

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Transdisciplinary innovation — what is it and how does it work? In this paper, the way disparate professional and community actors may work together is considered, drawing on case study data from three different Australian–Indian academic research collaborations. One considered food sector SME innovation practice in the two countries and the other two considered the deployment in India of radical technologies developed by international teams to deliver social benefits. The collection of knowledge artifacts from disparate sources was the norm. Implementation of an innovative idea or technology application commonly involved interactive learning from parallel testing of possible combinations. Six themes to be explored further emerged from this exploratory study. These related to social networking, interaction protocols, the use of boundary objects, knowledge sharing and modes of research.