Taxonomy of Innovation Ecosystems

IADP-partners involved: Zjak Consult & Caudata

Commissioned by the European Commission, Joint Research Centre

During the past decade, the attention given to the topic of innovation ecosystems by innovation management literature has been steadily increasing. There has been extensive conceptual research trying to identify the ultimate notion of the innovation ecosystem, striving to distil in a single, all-encompassing definition the numerous and complex existing phenomena. The potential overlap of the notion with similar concepts – inter alia, technology ecosystem, platform ecosystem, entrepreneurial ecosystem, knowledge ecosystem, business ecosystem, industrial ecosystem, regional ecosystem and, more on the traditional side, innovation network, innovation system, innovation value chain – has brought havoc in the scientific literature and is therefore bound to mystify even policymakers and expert innovation practitioners.

This study is part of the wider JRC Competence Centre on Technology Transfer’s mission to provide science-based knowledge in the innovation and TT field.
The purpose of the study is to help support the development and sustainability of innovation ecosystems by providing a straightforward taxonomy that will allow practitioners, policymakers, investors, and stakeholders to easily identify the nature and the features of any innovation entity positioned inside the wide spectrum of the “innovation ecosystem” notion. In particular, at market level the identification of a clear taxonomy would facilitate the segmentation of the market on the demand side, enabling the matching between actors of innovation ecosystems and prospective investors.
The involvement of relevant stakeholders through a consultation process, paired with the contribution to the study of a networking organization with global reach and sectoral expertise such as IASP, will prove helpful in reaching results that can have a local impact.

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