11.1.2 Why: Advantages and disadvantages of innovation networks

The central motivating factor for cooperation in innovation networks – above all for SMEs – is the expectation that entrepreneurs will reach their goals easier and better by cooperation than would have been possible when struggling alone and because of the hope of gaining immediate benefits through this form of organisation.
The following illustration gives an overview of the benefits to be expected (examples, not a comprehensive list) from cooperation and joint efforts in innovation networks:

 Figure 1: Advantages of innovation networks

Despite all the benefits of an innovation networks, it is advisable to consider some of the disadvantages before starting a prospective cooperation. The following graphic shows a few potential disadvantages (example, not a conclusive list). Many of these disadvantages can be "intercepted or cushioned" in the preparation phase of establishing a network by establishing relevant cooperation contracts ("rules" of cooperation).1

 Figure 2: Possible disadvantages of innovation networks.


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