D11.11_Day1.pptx - D11.11 Structures of knowledge flow and ...Presentation Transcript
D11.11 Structures of knowledge flow and innovation in the Irish Biotechnology industry Chris van Egeraat and Declan Curran National University of Ireland, Maynooth 5th OPAALS Review October 2010 - Brussels
Background WP 11 - Bridging Digital Ecosystems Research to Regional Development and Innovation in the Knowledge Economy Phase II / D11.2: Social and Spatial Structures of Collaboration and Knowledge Flow that Underpin Innovation among SMEs in Biotech and Digital Media Case-studies of innovation projects (biographies) in two sectors.
Phase III Task 11.6 - “Structure of knowledge flow and innovation in the knowledge economy: towards the development of a DE for SMEs in the Irish Biotechnology industry (NUIM) Further contribution to the understanding of the socio-spatial foundations of knowledge flows and innovation processes Quantitative SNA of different networks in the Irish biotech industry Changing the unit of analysis from projects to firms and individuals. Analysing the networks across all projects of a company Interviews to establish the actual knowledge flows (network exploitation) More focussed on territorial adoption of Digital Ecosystems Studying the requirements and characteristics of a potential Biotech Digital Ecosystem in Ireland. Interviews Focus Group / Seminar
Conduct All objectives were achieved – no changes. SNA of three types of networks (directors; inventors; spin-offs) Interviews with 15 companies and experts Focus group / seminar
Uniqueness A large body of work on SNA Assumption of knowledge flow We analysed the extent to which these networks are actually exploited
Findings I Directorship and inventor network structures identified by SNA of are suggestive of knowledge flow But Interviewees provide relatively limited evidence to suggest that that these (specific) networks function as important pipelines for local knowledge flow No technical knowledge flow (under-exploited); Some ‘know-who’ and general business knowledge flow from other directors in the network But directors seldomly intentionally consult these networks to obtain know-who knowledge (e.g. introductions)
Findings II This does not mean that inf. networks are not important Directorship network is merely one, relatively unimportant, network in a broader set of informal networks. More important informal network components include: the professional networks of individuals; network of university alumni; social networks. “the most important channel is related to people moving on” Still, few instances of network members intentionally contacting other local network members to obtain local know-who type information Reason: generally actors are well informed about the local actors themselves (direct links rather than indirect links matter)
Findings III It is precisely due to the long-term participation in the local informal networks that the most established actors remain (passively) informed about and familiar with the relevant players in the industry Less established firms do rely more strongly on their informal networks for intentional know-who type knowledge flow and introductions Informal networks, including the company directors network do play a significant role in intentional ‘know-how’ knowledge flow regarding non-local actors
Interest Applications with greatest potential to kick-start a biotech DE in Ireland (Based on SNA, Interviews and Focus Group meeting): A forum for regional actors (in universities; research institutions and private enterprise) to consult each other on a reciprocal basis about the location of (regional and extra-regional) actors, sources of knowledge and relevant intellectual property. A regionally-based science forum for biotechnology scientists and technicians. Here biotechnology scientists and technicians in companies and universities could interactively discuss scientific and technical problems.