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The Translator in Knowledge Management for Innovation – towards Industry Commons

Goldbeck, Gerhard; Simperler, Alexandra; Bull, Lucy; Gao, David; Ghedini, Emanuele; Karray, Mohamedhedi; Kharlamov, Evgeny; Kiritsis, Dimitrios; Lomax, Jane; Matentzoglu, Nicolas; Noeske, Michael; Piroi, Florina; Sarka, Arkopaul; Vladislavleva, Katya; Waaler, Arild

We introduce a new role in the field of semantic knowledge management which we call Translator in Knowledge Management for Innovation. Our interest is in the role helping to shape purposeful and traceable communication in materials and manufacturing industries and, thus, to make knowledge become managed knowledge that is actionable for innovation. We envisage that such communication will lead to harmonisation across the boundaries of the wide range individual domains and disciplines interacting in these fields. Current divisions and silos mean that there is a huge untapped value not just in terms of ‘lost’ data but also stakeholder knowledge, which currently is not well captured. The Knowledge Management Translator will work with materials and manufacturing domain experts as well as data scientists and knowledge engineers to shape data in order to express knowledge. The job of the Knowledge Management Translator is to bring together and orchestrate people, tools, and processes to achieve this.

To define this new role, we build on existing Technology Translator roles such as the Materials Modelling Translator and the Analytics Translator. We also tap into the professional experience of all the authors who are actively researching, practising, or working with ontologies, materials modelling, and data sciences. Therefrom we create an ideal persona and assign a variety of tasks and required skills to them.

We provide a template for a structured approach to Knowledge Management Translation, as a process broken down into six steps, adapted from the Materials Modelling Translation Guide.

Given the wide range of tasks and skills required, hardly any person today will be able to fulfil all of these on their own. Hence, Translators will work in teams, also including some client-internal and third-party consultants. This sounds prohibitively expensive but may become reality once the clients create more and more data management roles, and once universities train data management skills, and once management of data related to materials and manufacturing will facilitate systematic sustainability assessment. Having the economic viability in mind, we suggest some early paths to success that do not require the full range of experts. We also highlight that clients need to have a certain maturity level regarding data readiness to enable a fruitful interaction, and with increasing data and knowledge management maturity clients will profit from implementing the role in their company.

We discuss some current gaps and challenges for this new role and outline the next steps to make the Knowledge Management Translator role a reality. We aim to consolidate expert knowledge and further develop the role in the context of the H2020 OntoCommons project, to offer budding Knowledge Management Translators continuous professional development opportunities.

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