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An application of the Delphi method to determine the requirements for a prototyping centre for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador

Memorial University of Newfoundland
Publication Date
  • Communication
  • Political Science


The purpose of this study was to determine the need for a Provincial Prototyping Centre that would be capable of producing high quality manufacturable prototypes in the least amount of time. At the same time, the study sought to determine the specific systems, resources, and requirements necessary for the operation of a Provincial Prototyping Centre. -- This study was conducted from March 1995 to July 1995 utilizing a modified Delphi technique. Two rounds of this Delphi study were completed. Round one asked three questions to which respondents were free to give open-ended responses. Information gathered from the first round was utilized to develop a second questionnaire submitted as round two in the Delphi process. Each round utilized a different panel of experts. Questionnaires for both rounds were electronically transmitted utilizing the E-mail services of the Internet. -- Results of the study indicated that a steering committee representing the interests of government, industry, entrepreneurs, the university, post-secondary institutions, and other interested parties should be formed to further investigate the feasibility of a Provincial Prototyping Centre. The results indicated consensus among the respndents for the goals and objectives of a Provincial Prototyping Centre. These are as follows: -- 1. To provide the technical support to inventors in developing a prototype, -- 2. To facilitate and guide inventors' product development efforts, -- 3. To link inventors with financial support agencies, -- 4. To encourage and facilitate inventors by linking them with other inventors who have been through the product development process, -- 5. To encourage inventors to develop a marketing plan, -- 6. To assist small business in developing production prototypes quickly and at an affordable price, -- 7. To facilitate the development of existing capabilities and businesses in the province, and -- 8. To develop prototypes based on its own market intelligence.

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