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Adapting the Fraunhofer model to the US market: Innovation ecosystems

This morning a friend shared an article that triggered some thoughts: Behind Germany’s Success Story in Manufacturing For the past year, I have been developing an approach with our colleagues at Fraunhofer to apply market-tested principles of innovation to Purdue. As the article notes, the Obama Administration is using the Fraunhofer model as a template […]

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Visualizing regional innovation ecosystems: A high level perspective

Depending on your purpose, there are multiple alternatives for visualizing regional innovation ecosystems. These visualizations are best seen within the context of a strategic purpose. In other words, “What strategic outcome are you trying to achieve and how would a drawing help you?” This afternoon, I have been adapting a high level visualization initially presented […]

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Here are my take-aways from the Global Innovation Summit 2014

Here are some of my takeaways from the Global Innovation Summit that I attended in San Jose last week, a fantastic event. Before you go any further, though: Pull out your January 2015 calendar and mark down on January 1: Attend Global Innovation Summit 2015. I’m taking these observations from my notes, so apologies if […]

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Connecting technology development with market opportunities

Last week, I spent time with my Fraunhofer colleagues focusing on a particular challenge facing the pace and scale of innovation. The work in innovation management at Fraunhofer aligns well with the work we are doing at Purdue in the development of open, agile strategy. We are exploring how to combine these unique strengths into […]

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Universities as Anchors for Regional Innovation Ecosystems

In the midst of all the political gridlock in Washington, it’s easy to become cynical about the long-term competitive prospects of our nation’s economy. But shift your focus to the nation’s regions, and your outlook will change. There, leading edge universities have launched promising experiments to design and develop ecosystems — a series of overlapping, […]

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Distinguishing innovation ecosystems from entrepreneurial ecosystems

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been exploring the challenge of improving the productivity of the ecosystem surrounding a research university like Purdue. There some interesting reading on the topic, but it appears to me that we are not carefully distinguishing between ecosystems designed to accelerate the formation of new companies and ecosystems designed to […]

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Inside a regional innovation cluster

Clusters that accelerate regional innovation are not simply agglomerations of like-situated firms. Instead, regional innovation clusters form around an ethic of open innovation. With open innovation, the presumptions on information sharing are reversed. In the old world of our grandfather’s economy, regional actors presumed that information was confidential unless they took steps to release it […]

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Thoughts on developing regional innovation clusters

Federal officials are increasingly interested in leveraging the value of universities and other economic development partners in regional growth.  At the same time, regions are exploring ways to transform economies made less competitive by global competition. Strategically focused regional innovation clusters can accelerate regional transformation. They promote transformation by “linking and leveraging” existing assets — […]

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Investment priorities for innovation clusters

One of the major challenges in developing regional innovation clusters comes in defining and setting priorities for collaborative investments. Here’s a simple solution. Have participants in the cluster rank investment options according to two dimensions: one on return, one on risk. For each investment option, ask participants two questions: First, how big an impact is […]

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Leadership skills for guiding regional innovation clusters

Over the weekend, I began thinking about the new skills that civic leaders need to guide regional innovation clusters. Here’s my list so far. Crossing boundaries and integrating diverse people and activities in a team.– On a personal level, the skill involves thinking outside your box and working in a team with people from other […]

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The Story of Strategic Doing in Flint, Michigan

Flint, Michigan continues to struggle through a challenging transformation. For the past seven years, we have been working in Flint, […]

Strategic Doing: Handling Dancing Landscapes

Over on our massively open online course (MOOC) introducing Strategic Doing, a student pointed to the work of Herbert Simon […]

Confusing Technical and Adaptive Challenges

Companies get into trouble when their managers confuse technical and adaptive challenges. A technical challenge has a right answer. It […]

Diversity Drives Innovation: Here’s How

We’re finding more and more value in the concept of “strategic diversity” – that is, the way in which team […]

Designing platforms to design ecosystems

Ecosystems form on top of platforms. Ecosystem design starts with platform design.  By designing the platform and guiding interactions on […]

Start-up and innovation ecosystems: Testbeds

It’s no surprise that academic research often lags behind market developments (Brown & Mawson, 2017). What if, to help us […]