The Need to Knowledge Model

The Need to Knowledge (NtK) Model is an evidence-based framework to guide the conception, design and generation of technology-based or technology-oriented innovations. Such outcomes from sponsored R&D projects take four different forms:

  1. Standards & Guidelines — Practices, methods, processes or criteria adopted as convention by an industry group (standards), or by clinical practitioners (guidelines), either through formal agreement or as generally accepted norms.
  2. Instruments & Tools — Any implement designed to perform a specific function especially of a delicate or precise nature to include data collection, storage, measurement, management or monitoring, as well as any materials analysis, manipulation or fabrication.
  3. Freeware — Consists of either instructions to build a device (Do It Yourself), or an operational software program downloaded from host sites (App Store).
  4. Commercial Products – Hardware or software produced in sufficient quantities for national/international distribution and sale within the competitive marketplace.

The NtK Model can be used for planning, implementing and managing such projects, particularly those sponsored by government agencies and led by university faculty or small business entrepreneurs.

The NtK Model connects the academic research process with accepted industrial practices regarding new product development and deployment. This connection between what is traditionally called Research & Development is necessary to ensure that the outputs from academic research products that intend to generate beneficial socio-economic impacts, contain the rigor and relevance necessary for industry and related external stakeholders to recognize their utility and value. The NtK model contains everything that well-intended sponsors and project directors ’need to know’ to optimize the probability of eventual transfer, deployment, uptake and use while avoiding the creation of unnecessary barriers arising from insufficient expertise or experience.

Evidence Base of Literature