The scientific foundation adopted by the Modal Institute is based on the Metamodel Methodology (M3) originally proposed by Van Gigch and Pipino (1986), developed as a methodological framework for Information Architecture by the team of researchers of the Center for Research in Architecture Information (CPAI) of the University of Brasília (UnB). The option of this method is due to the fact that M3 is adequate to understand scientific objects and apply them in innovation processes. M3 is based on three levels of analysis:

  • Epistemological, strategic or meta-modeling level: it represents the conceptual and methodological framework of a given scientific community. It seeks to investigate the origin of the knowledge of the discipline, justify its methods of reasoning and state its methodology.
  • Scientific, tactical or modeling level: level of development of theories and models used to describe, explain and predict problems and their solutions.
  • Practical, operational or application level: level of real-life problem solving, to which the theories, models, techniques, and technologies idealized at other levels apply.

Figure 1 illustrates the hierarchy of scientific research systems and their interrelations according to M3. Epistemological questions are formulated from the inputs of the Philosophy of Science, on the one hand, and from the scientific and practical levels on the other. Likewise, scientific investigations at the intermediate level are given inputs both in the form of paradigms, determined from epistemological questions, and in the form of evidence emerging from the practical level. Practical questions, on the other hand, receive as inputs the theories and models of the scientific level and the solutions to their problems.

Figure 1: Metamodel Methodology (M3)

Source: Adapted from Van Gigch and Pipino (1986)

The Metamodel Methodology aims to:

  • integrate the different perspectives associated with a given paradigm;
  • produce viable research directions;
  • provide a basis for the comparative analysis of their objects of study; and
  • formulate sound foundations for the understanding of the phenomenon with a view to supporting its practice.

M3 allows to base scientific approaches applied to innovation processes, bringing academia closer to the daily needs of the market, government and people. By applying this model, the Modal Institute achieves concrete results and with a strong methodological basis, which leads to the improvement of the chances of success of its projects.