近來，工研院與資策會兩大法人研究機構，正如火如荼探討軟硬整合的相關議題，也積極導入各種開放創新系統平台 (OISP : Open Innovation System Platform) 的觀念，希望能開創各種產業與技術的嶄新應用模式。
其中，被兩大法人引以為學習圭臬的是 GE 奇異公司的 Predix 平台。其實我個人認為，要真正了解 Open Innovation，絕對不能只看 GE Predix 的案例，因為其偏向工業製造應用的思維，最好還能多看看各種不同產業領域的 Crowdsourcing 及 Developer Community 的運作模式，才會比較廣泛與周延一些。
不過 Predix 還是很有代表性的，因為 Predix 是 GE 為網際網路的工業應用所開發的平台，有點像電腦中的作業系統，承載著各種工業需要用到的軟體，通過接入設備數據把工業設備相連。Predix 是一個基於雲端的系統，利用其運轉於全球的裝有傳感器的機械設備，將這些智慧機械設備與 Predix 平台和複雜分析工具緊密結合，分析工具即時利用 GE 從全球獲取的數據，進行進一步的分析與運算。
其實，不只是 Predix 平台，GE 公司對 Open Innovation 開放創新的擁抱，幾乎可說是全面性的，GE 也和全世界的研究機構和大小企業合作，例如像 Quirky 公司，通過線上社群的發明者，可以通過在線上社群中發布創新技術，使諸如 MakerBot 等技術使得 3D 印表機能夠在客廳內設計和打印價格合適的 3D 印表機。
GE 也在美國，印度，中國，德國，巴西和以色列八個國家的全球研究網絡，與 300 多個頂尖的大學、政府、其他公司（大小）和研究機構共同合作。例如與 MIT 和 DARPA 合作，成功完成了一個“車輛加工”計畫，開發了群眾外包流程平台，使全球專家團隊能夠設計和快速製造複雜系統如軍車，航空系統和先進醫療器械。傳統上，這些“網絡物理系統”可能需要數十年才能開發完成。該計劃的主要目的是展示一個可以大大減少研發時間的平台。
對 GE 在開放創新方面的成果有興趣的朋友，可以參考下列的相關報導 :
In today’s world, innovation does not happen single-handedly. With companies like Quirky that make innovation accessible through an online community of inventors to technologies like MakerBot that have made a 3D printer affordable enough for people to design and print right in their living rooms—innovation is happening in big manufacturing plants, small backyards and everywhere in between.
In today’s world, innovation means collaboration. Through GE’s Global Research network of eight sites in the U.S., India, China, Germany, Brazil and Israel, we have more than 300 collaborations with top universities, governments, other companies (both big and small) and research institutions to accelerate innovation for our businesses and for the world. Below are a few of the ongoing collaborations between our researchers and other companies, universities and government agencies.
GE and MIT: Building Crowdsourcing Software Platform to Revolutionize Product Design and Manufacturing
Working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA), we successfully completed a program “vehicleforge.mil” to develop a crowdsourcing platform that would enable a global community of experts to design and rapidly manufacture complex systems such as military vehicles, aviation systems and advanced medical devices. These “cyber-physical systems” can take decades to develop. The primary goal of this program was to demonstrate a platform that could help dramatically reduce that timeline. The new crowdsourcing platform is a key part of GE’s efforts to build the Industrial Internet and accelerate manufacturing process and product developments. View the New York Times story to learn more.
GE and The US Department of Veteran’s Affairs: Partnering on Hospital Management
Working with GE Healthcare and the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA), Global Research scientists will develop a prototype system capable of managing the surgical tool sterilization process in a hospital—ensuring safe delivery of care, enabling new levels of hospital efficiency, and delivering with surgical accuracy all of the medical devices doctors need to perform life-saving procedures. View the Popular Science article to learn more.
GE’s Israel Technology Center: Advancing Key Technologies in Israel for the World
In 2008, we established a technology center in Tel Aviv to expand our connections with emerging tech companies in Israel and to advance great technologies and products all over the world. In fact, some of our most exciting breakthroughs in medical imaging have come directly from our partnerships, including new medical imaging products in Ultrasound, CT, nuclear medicine and MR. One of the Israel Technology Center’s recent collaborations is with Capital Nature Technology Center, related to the development of green energy technologies in Israel. Israel is one of the world’s top innovation hotspots, and we think so much can be gained by working together to advance key technologies that the world needs and is demanding.
GE and Memorial Sloan Kettering: Studying to Improve Diagnosis of Early Stage Colon Cancer
Our scientists have an ongoing study with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), one of the world’s premier cancer centers, to better understand the early stages of colon cancer. The goal is to yield new insights that improve treatment selection and outcomes for cancer patients in the future. View the GE News Release to learn more.
GE and Virginia Polytechnic Institute: Developing Wind Blades That Could Be The “Fabric” of our Clean Energy Future
GE researchers along with Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Virginia Tech, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are working on a new manufacturing approach to making wind turbine blades that involves architectural fabrics. It could fundamentally change the way wind blades are designed, manufactured and installed and result in substantially lower wind energy costs. View the GE News Release here.