Capability development for Open and Responsible innovation Ecosystems

Project coordinator

Vikki Eriksson, Aalto University



Finland, The Netherlands

ATTRACT stories: CORE project (please, accept the cookies to see the video)

Research question

How innovation ecosystems contribute to building micro-level social capabilities and practices for effective networked innovation collaboration?

Project at a glance

  • Collaboration between different individuals and organisations in a network can be a catalyst for innovation and creativity. To support this it is essential that we investigate collaboration within European Research Infrastructure innovation ecosystems and how knowledge flows within these.
  • This project examines how social and societal connections are leveraged by individuals and organisations within innovation ecosystems and how creative interaction is structured.
  • The project aims to contribute insights into the effective identification of connections for technological and science-based innovation opportunities.

Public summary

Innovation ecosystems represent multilayered networks of different types of collaboration. Knowledge flow and creative collaboration on the network level builds on micro-level individual interactions. In order to promote effective investments into European Research Infrastructure innovation ecosystems, we need to build a clear understanding of the social capabilities and networks that such ecosystems rely upon, and the effect of participation in joint activities on the development of these capabilities.

Understanding such spillover effects of capability development is important for both the organization of innovation ecosystem initiatives and the long-term sustainability of such networks. To this end, this project explores how innovation ecosystems contribute to building micro-level social capabilities and practices for effective innovation collaboration in an open and responsible manner.

The research project is organized around three novel inquiries into the micro-foundations of European Research Infrastructure innovation ecosystems.

First, we examine how ecosystem actors identify and leverage social and societal connections in pursuing innovation opportunities, and how these capabilities are affected by participation in the ATTRACT student programs in Modalities A and B.

Second, we examine how knowledge flows and creative interaction is structured in the social networks of ATTRACT actors in these programs, broadening understanding of how dispersed, democratic networked innovation can take shape over time. Finally, based on initial results, we will co-design an intervention study to enhance capability development in selected networks, extending understanding of leveraging co-design in joint capability development in leveraging European Research Infrastructures.

Taken together, the project will yield new scientific knowledge on effective identification of social and societal connections for technological and science-based innovation opportunities, on typologies of social networks supportive of effective dispersed and networked innovation, and on how engaging with European Research Infrastructure innovation ecosystem activities can enhance social capabilities for subsequent collaborative innovation activities. In addition, the generated insights form the basis for an open-access.