This paper focuses on the early design phases of innovative projects. More precisely, the question of the innovation opportunities development and management is addressed here, starting from a theoretical model and methodology, until precise tool perspectives. The key elements of our approach are the potential technology concept (PTC) multi-input model and the C-K theory. Our PTC model is based on three dimensions (concept, technology and potential) and highlights the need of interactions between them regarding strategic and operational levels. Starting from the analysis of these three dimensions, different opportunities for the innovation are identified. In order to develop every identified opportunity, the three dimensions have to be explored with specific workshops and the C-K theory resulting in a tree diagram. The paper presents also tool perspectives dedicated to structure the preliminary exchanges among all stakeholders using criteria to consolidate new ideas. Two case studies are finally proposed.
Keywords: early design phases, innovation process, potential technology concept model, PTC, C-K theory