Dec 23. Oxford Ideas

Garland with bulbs, lights and bells

IT Innovation Challenges advent calendar 2019

If you know about IT Innovation Challenges you may also be familiar with our idea-sharing platform, Oxford Ideas. The online platform can be used to post ideas that others can then view, comment on and vote for. What you cannot see is that the platform has a number of other functions, allowing those issuing a Call for Idea to do a lot ‘behind the scenes’ making it easier to run the call and keep up-to-date with what is happening at all times.

Many different ideas management platforms exist and we are currently using IdeaScale. The University has a licence to run a number of Calls for Ideas each year, and anyone interesting in using the platform can contact to discuss their Call with the Innovation Facilitator who helps managing the platform and setting up calls.

Calls for Ideas can take different forms. What they share is that preparation is key. Before anything is added to the platform, it is important to know what the Call is for, who it is aimed at and what kind of information to ask for. This is done in collaboration between whoever wishes to make the Call for Ideas and the Innovation Facilitator.

When setting up a Call for Ideas, the fist step is to decide what stages to include. These include submit idea, build team, review, refine, archive and more. For each stage it is possible to define who should have access to it, for example setting it up so that only Panel members can add scores to an idea in the ‘review’ stage. The forms used for collecting information also needs to be created so that idea creators know what to include when sharing and idea and reviewers see what features they are asked to assess. Timings can be added so that stages open and close on specific dates. Once the Call is running, ideas can be moved from one stage to another manually or automatically, for example when they have received a certain number of votes. This can happen at a specific time, or continuously. There are a number of functions available for those managing a Call, for example assigning ideas to various strands or reviewers.

If you want to know more about the platform or want to talk about running a Call for Ideas, do get in touch with us at

Screenshot: setting up a Call for Ideas


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