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TCI2013 Transnational innovation networks - what role for cluster organizations?

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By Emily Wise, VINNOVA, Sweden, presented at the 16th TCI Global Conference, Kolding 2013.

By Emily Wise, VINNOVA, Sweden, presented at the 16th TCI Global Conference, Kolding 2013.

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • Nd cluster policy
  • - For each pilot, held structured interviews (with scaled questions) with the lead and 3 partners/associated partners (identified by the lead).Then, for those nodes interviewed that functioned as innovation intermediaries (14 COs or similar), collected lists of five ’cluster actors’ (companies or research organizations) who received digital surveys (also scaled questions). Survey was sent to 69 cluster actors (missed contact information from one node). 50 responses received (as of early September). Limitations: method of selection not random – and may therefore not be representative (in particular since the StarDust project is already a select/internationalization-focused group of actors) limited scope of survey and lack of knowledge on total population of cluster actors (to estimate relevance/robustness of results) Questions on importance of internationalization of R&I, usefulness of intermediary (cluster actors only), functions/services provided by the CO/intermediary to facilitate outside knowledge inputs and collaboration
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    • 1. Transnational innovation networks – what role for cluster organizations? Emily Wise Academic Summit: Transnational cluster collaboration 4 September 2013
    • 2. Transnational Innovation Networks – what role for cluster organizations? TCI Annual Conference 4 September 2013, Kolding Emily Wise, RPI, Lund University and VINNOVA
    • 3. Outline of the presentation • Quick review of theoretical concepts • The StarDust case – approach and findings • Managerial and cluster policy implications • Discussion
    • 4. Theoretical Building Blocks Innovation, collaboration and the role of intermediaries Globalization trends and transnational innovation networks Public policy and international innovation processes Cluster organization or other innovation intermediary Company Research actor How do cluster organizations foster international innovation processes? Collaborative linkages International collaborative linkages
    • 5. Analyzing support needs and support functions Innovation Actors’ Support Needs Innovation Intermediaries’ Support Functions Sensing - understanding foreign markets/systems and needs/opportunities there - accessing complementary knowledge, expertise, or infrastructure in foreign locations Intelligence and innovation initiation - Providing access to unique market information - Providing access to benchmarking - Providing access to external knowledge sources (e.g. individuals or centres with specific skills/expertise, customer insights) - Providing access to external technology (e.g. patented R&D) - Providing access to external infrastructure (e.g. physical or virtual laboratories, demonstration or test facilities) Mobilizing - marshaling globally-dispersed knowledge around a shared problem or opportunity - engaging actors in collaborative activities or joint projects Network composition and knowledge transformation - Providing access to new international contacts/ cooperation partners - Providing access to new markets - Building a common identity and stronger international visibility Operationalizing - establishing common practices and operational business models - accessing needed investments in order to implement common activities Innovation process management and commercialization - Facilitating access to funding for joint research and innovation activities - Influencing government and policy Author‟s elaboration drawing from Doz et al. 2001, Howells 2006 and Batterink 2010
    • 6. Embedded units within the StarDust case The StarDust project Active for Life (well-being and health) • Culminatum Innovation Oy, FI • Aalborg University, Dept of Health Science and Technology, DK • BioCon Valley GmbH, DE • Community Building Consultants, LT • New Tools for Health, SE Clean Water (cleantech and future energy) • Lahti Development Company, FI • Kaunas University of Technology, LT • Sustainable Sweden Southeast, SE • Institute of Oceanology of Polish Academy of Science, PL Comfort in Living (living spaces for ageing population) • IDC West Sweden, SE • Art Academy of Latvia, LV • Business Cooperation Center of Southern Lithuania, LT • Faculty of Wood Technology, Poznan University of Life Science, PL MarChain (future transport) • Klaipeda Science and Technology Park, LT • WTSH, DE • Maritime Academy Gdynia, PL • Tallinn University of Technology, EE • Latvian Logistics Association, LV • Turku University, FI • SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, SE Mobile Vikings (digital business and services) • Mobile Heights, SE • Cluster 55, DK/SE • Hermia Competence Cluster for Ubiquitous Computing, FI • Visorial Information Technology, LT • Latvian ICT Cluster, LV Five embedded transnational innovation networks
    • 7. The research approach Qualitative research methods: • Structured interviews • Digital survey • Participant observation Three research phases: 1. Baseline measurement • Research nodes and cluster/intermediary organizations • Firms and research organizations working with an cluster/intermediary organization 2. Follow-up structured/semi-structured interviews with sample of survey respondents 3. Follow-up measurement (second round of structured interviews with research nodes and cluster/intermediary organization Cluster organization or other innovation intermediary Company (>250 employees) Company (<250 employees) Research actor Innovation node is research milieu
    • 8. Overlapping Process of Data Collection and Analysis Interviews with innovation nodes (of which 14 function as innovation intermediaries) Phase 1: Initial interviews and survey Survey of innovation actors • What strategic importance of internationalization of innovation processes? • What knowledge sourcing and innovation collaboration patterns? • Which support functions provided, and which viewed as most useful by different innovation actor groups? Comparingperspectives Follow-up interviews with selected innovation actors Phase 2: Follow-up interviews Follow-up interviews with innovation nodes • Elaboration of reasons behind the prioritization of internationalization • Elaboration on challenges/barriers to internationalization that are experienced • Elaboration of support needs • Discussion of trends in supporting international innovation processes • Discussion of activities and services provided to innovation actors to support international innovation processes Comparingperspectives
    • 9. Research Organizations: Support Needs and Intermediary Support Functions Capability Gaps/Support Needs Functions of innovation intermediaries in international innovation processes Sensing - understanding foreign systems of innovation and market environments - identifying and plugging-in to relevant company contacts in international markets Intelligence and innovation initiation - Providing access to external knowledge sources (e.g. individuals or centres with specific skills/expertise, customer insights) - Providing access to unique market information Mobilizing - Developing competencies for working in international innovation projects - Setting up international innovation projects that make use of specialized research capabilities (to solve a shared problem) - Facilitating better international researcher mobility and collaboration with companies (in connection with innovation projects) Network composition and knowledge transformation - Providing access to new international contacts/ cooperation partners Operationalizing Innovation process management and commercialization The darker the shading, the stronger the expressed support need
    • 10. Lg/Med Companies: Support Needs and Intermediary Support Functions The darker the shading, the stronger the expressed support need Capability Gaps/Support Needs Functions of innovation intermediaries in international innovation processes Sensing - identifying relevant partners (SMEs particularly interesting) and opportunities for joint development activities/collaborative partnerships Intelligence and innovation initiation - Providing access to external knowledge sources (e.g. individuals or centres with specific skills/expertise, customer insights) - Providing access to benchmarking - Providing access to unique market information Mobilizing - being exposed to a broader international network and new partners/opportunities (e.g. through innovation platforms/arenas where can be put in touch with a variety of relevant players) - being profiled internationally as part of a broader context (e.g. a specialized node or eco-systems) Network composition and knowledge transformation - Providing access to new international contacts/ cooperation partners - Building a common identity and stronger international visibility Operationalizing Innovation process management and commercialization
    • 11. Small Companies: Support Needs and Intermediary Support Functions The darker the shading, the stronger the expressed support need Capability Gaps/Support Needs Functions of innovation intermediaries in international innovation processes Sensing - providing opportunities to learn about innovation systems in relevant foreign markets, and needs/opportunities there - developing insights on how international innovation activities can strengthen own strategic idea - developing capabilities for partnering international (e.g. mentorship or advisory support from experienced entrepreneurs) Intelligence and innovation initiation - Providing access to external knowledge sources (e.g. individuals or centres with specific skills/expertise, customer insights) - Providing access to unique market information - Providing access to benchmarking Mobilizing - providing contextual legitimacy (and branding) of actors’ areas of specialized expertise - helping to open the “relevant doors” in foreign markets - proactive networking and matchmaking with relevant players (tailored to own areas of expertise and potential growth) Network composition and knowledge transformation - Providing access to new markets - Providing access to new international contacts/ cooperation partners - Building a common identity and stronger international visibility Operationalizing - Attaining financing to enable engagement in collaboration opportunities internationally - Enabling access to partners who can invest both capital and expertise in the collaboration Innovation process management and commercialization - Facilitating access to funding for joint research and innovation activities
    • 12. Cluster organizations and international innovation processes It‟s not just a local focus anymore...
    • 13. How do cluster organizations support the internationalization of innovation processes? • Information on external innovation systems (who is who, and ”rules of the game”) • Support in communicating ‟own unique offering‟/value-added internationally (SMEs) • Identification of new opportunities (e.g. partners, projects, financing) • Access to new knowledge sources and collaboration partners • ”Branded” as belonging to a broader context • ”Stamps” of legitimacy/RIGHT entry points and proactive door opening to ‟outside‟ knowledge sources and partners) • Financing or risk sharing arrangements (SMEs) • Mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs (SMEs) Role of ‟cluster organization‟: • Understand the companies‟ particular field of business – and stage of development – of their “client” companies and research organizations • Provide a broader context and brand for the area of expertise • Bridge public authorities and companies, companies and research actors • Constantly scout for and „filter through‟ relevant opportunities • Proactively offer services that are tailored to specific needs of „cluster members‟ in collaboration with other support actors (e.g. trade councils) • Active facilitation and involvement of companies in practical activities as early as possible Cluster actor needs:
    • 14. So what? • Implications for cluster management • Implications for cluster policy
    • 15. Lessons for cluster management 1. Ensure Clear Strategic Direction and Commitment over Time 2. Facilitate Availability of Resources for Concrete Collaboration Activities 3. Support Strong (Core) Leadership and Active Dialogue/Anchoring
    • 16. Implications for Cluster Policy 1. Establish Clear “Basic Entry Requirements” for International Cluster Partnerships 2. Offer Process Support as a Component of International Cluster Cooperation Programmes 3. Offer Flexible Financing Mechanisms to enable Operational Experimentation
    • 17. Questions for Discussion Cluster organizations...  A legitimate mandate to work with global linkages?  What balance between facilitating local collaboration and global linkages? Cluster policy...  How are cluster organizations perceived within my system/instruments facilitating international innovation linkages?  Should systems/instruments be adjusted to leverage cluster organizations?

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