Learning objective

After reading this component you will have the capability to explain what an Innovation Network is and will have the basics of how to join and participate in a network. You will be able to use some basic networking strategies to enhance your business. It will take approx 1 hour to read this module.

Introduction

Some characteristic features such as insecurity, growing dependence on scientific progress, growing complexity of research and innovation, the importance of knowledge and learning etc. form the innovation process. This background allows the coining of the following phrase:

“No firm can innovate or survive without a network”

Networks are a growing success and competition factor in industry and generally in society. They are the answer to a structural change towards an information society. This change is accompanied by a worldwide globalisation of industry and puts special demands on enterprises in competition with each other. At present we watch an increasing trend towards cooperation in innovation activities. ‘Networks’ are a form of cooperation which offer some interesting opportunities for problem solving, especially for small and medium sized enterprises.

Thus, successful innovation networks allow the individual network partner to gain access to resources otherwise inaccessible, i.e. completely new sources for innovation, skills, markets and application possibilities, and they offer a sizeable cost reduction potential to the participant.  For enterprises, their ability to be innovative is an important element in remaining competitive. A co-operation in the form of a network can contribute greatly to the innovative ability of the networks’ partners.

”Cooperation in innovation networks maintains and increases the ability for innovation and causes competitive advantages.” 1


1 InnoSupport: Supporting Innovations in SME. 11. Innovation Networks. 2005  

 

Icons to be used in the module

learning objective at the beginning

 

hint/tip/advise

background information

 

problem/question

definition

 

task/To-do

important to know

 

download of documents/attachments

memorize/to keep in mind

 

summary at the end

 Icons to be used outside the module

link to the WWW

related articles

download of additional documents and articles