Governance mechanisms for regional (innovation)ecosystems - an explorative analysis

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Lehrstuhl für Innovation, Strategie und Organisation


Regional innovation ecosystems try to leverage specific potentials of the respective region by focusing on a regionally anchored value proposition. Previous research on innovation ecosystems is almost exclusively based on studies in core regions with outstanding universities, world-leading technology groups, excellent IT infrastructure and a large talent pool. Peripheral regions, on the other hand, are often characterized by infrastructure deficits, lack of technology leaders, fragile network structures and/or situations of "lock-in" by dominant (but obsolete) industries. Regional innovation ecosystems are increasingly in the focus of scholarly attention due to their importance for structural development. Especially in regions that are economically underdeveloped, more research is warranted to fully understand and emphasize their innovation potential.

The thesis is written within the framework of a structural change initiative (WIR! - Change through Innovation within the Region) financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The initiative focuses on the creation of regional innovation ecosystems as a tool for structural change in peripheral regions.

The goal of the thesis is to understand and optimize the processes of ecosystem management (governance) and operational implementation of the value proposition. Therefore, the subject of investigation is the organizational structure with its specific processes and coordination mechanisms. In a first step, a literature review will be used to identify and analyze how innovation ecosystems are managed (governed). In a second step, the specific processes and working methods of the WIR! ecosystems will be recorded and core processes in the area of "governance" will be derived. Qualitative interviews as well as concept papers of the individual ecosystems serve as data sources.

Keywords: innovation ecosystems, governance, structural change, peripheral regions