Relevant to: research, practice
Sector: Innovation, Regional Development
In this paper Svare and Gausdal demonstrate how Regional Innovation System theory may be translated into practical and applicable methods that may be used to strengthen a regional innovation system. The authors present Network Based Innovation Brokering (NBIB) as a method developed to meet this objective. They apply NBIB to five cases from two Norwegian regional innovation networks. Thus the paper also presents a preliminary assessment of the implementation of NBIB and the extent it contributes to strengthening the productive dynamics of Regional Innovation Systems. A key method used to implement NBIB was through brokering workshops. The authors discuss at length the outcomes of these workshops.
Based on the preliminary assessments, the authors conclude that the movement from theory to practice, using NBIB, has been a success. They noted that the workshops were highly productive, particularly with respect to relationship building, trust building, knowledge development and diffusion, and entrepreneurial experimentation. The authors concluded that NBIB strengthens the productive dynamics of the Regional Innovation System involved.
The authors noted some limitations in measuring trust – a key ingredient of NBIB – and urge practitioners to consider optimal trust, rather than absolute trust, in relation to information sharing, where optimal trust should be conceived as the level where participants disclose the right amount of information relative to the context they find themselves in. The authors also discussed the critical importance of facilitation to the success of NBIB workshops.
The central argument of this paper is that the development of methods aimed at altering a field in a systematic way should be based on the best current theoretical description of that field. The underlying assumption is that this starting point yields better methods and consequently better results. While this idea can be neither proven nor rejected through case study research alone, the authors suggest that the positive outcome of the five cases examined supports this argument.
This summary was developed from the following paper:
Svare H., and Gausdal A.H. (2015) Strengthening regional innovation through network-based innovation brokering. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 27(9-10): 619-643.