The importance of regional ecosystems for innovation
More and more innovation processes take place in regional networks, often referred to as regional ecosystems. These ecosystems are (open) innovation networks which are increasingly flexible and agile at adapting to new technological developments and market developments.
A region includes companies, research organisations and regional governments that join forces to achieve the goal of better and more impactful innovations. Together, they create an open network for innovation in which they interact, collaborate, and share skills and resources to create value.
Social partners play a vital role in the regional healthcare stakeholder landscape. They often offer living labs or test-bed facilities to co-create and embed innovation in real life.
The regional context defines which partners have easy access to the ecosystems and shared values, as well as which parties are present, and the regional challenges faced. Regional ecosystems can choose a smart specialisation strategy fitted to the contextual elements. Together, the stakeholders set up programmes and activities to realise the ambitions of their strategy. Having a clear focus and ambition contributes to the success of the regional ecosystem.
In today’s regional innovation ecosystems, we see an increased focus on the emergence of new ventures like start-ups, scale-ups, spin-offs and joint ventures. New ventures are stimulated to inspire the regional economy. These ventures can benefit highly from a well-organised regional ecosystem. It allows them access to collaborate with several existing organisations, such as universities, funding organisations, research organisations, service-provider organisations (e.g. legal, financial services, etc.) and large corporations. To optimally support new ventures and the regional economy, ecosystem-driven support programmes, such as incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces, should be created.