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Monitoring Innovation Ecosystems @MIT

Collaboration across key innovation stakeholders is crucial for collective impact and acceleration at the ecosystem level.

Integrating efficient innovation ecosystems for multinational companies is critical to accelerate growth and reduce time-to-market. That’s why governments and policies are geared towards the emergence of dynamic innovation ecosystems to ensure economic development and job creation.

This issue attracts increasingly larger investments on a global scale. On October 12th&13th the MIT Innovation Initiative (MITii) brought together a global community of practitioners, thought leaders and scholars to explore the implementation of novel models, programs, and initiatives that enhance economic growth and social progress in innovation ecosystems.

 

Innovation Ecosystems identification

 

The startup cartography project led by MITii and presented during the event by Scott Stern and Jorge Guzman is a good example of an innovation ecosystem visualization. This project focused on startups identification and address-based visualization.

 

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Expernova’s approach is to detect Innovation Ecosystems based on scientific or technological collaboration. Our visualization is focused on collaboration intensity between individuals (thought experts, Key Opinion Leaders), innovative companies, startups and Universities.

 

Innovation Ecosystems Benchmark and Evaluation

 

« I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be” Lord Kelvin (1824-1907)

 

Measurement as a Driver of Shared Priorities and Action

 

The goal of the iEcosystem symposium organized by MIT Innovation Initiative was to learn from both successes and failures and to maximize collective impact in research and practice, exploring “what’s best” today and “what’s next” on the frontier. The overarching emphasis was on the models, programs, and initiatives that develop, drive, and inform innovation ecosystems and the roles multi-stakeholder leadership plays in advancing them both individually and collectively.

 

“The world has changed, so must Ecosystems” said Stephen Forte from Fresco Capital. A good example of that is Laudat Si’ Challenge, on finding, funding and accelerating solutions to climate change and human migration.

He also gave some advices to Ecosystem Builders: “Play to your strengths & Be open to “Crazy” partnerships !”

 

Innovation ecosystems evaluation is a critical issue. Daniel Feher (USC and MITii) and Yael Hochberg (Rice, MITii, and NBER) presented some results about Benchmarking, Metrics and Program Evaluation: What evidence can be developed that a particular program or policy is effective?

Good metrics reflects a successful scenario, that of the type you wish to achieve, they benchmark apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Is there a right way of ranking startups accelerators ?  Is it by total investments in portfolio firms? meaningful exits numbers? Additional fundraising operations post acceleration? Entrepreneurs satisfaction? Number of jobs created ?

 

Paul Smyke from the World Economic Forum addressed challenges from the 4th industrial revolution & discussed agile governance to use emerging tech.

How can we grow through accelerating innovation-driven entrepreneurial ecosystems ?

Entrepreneurial quality has a strong relationship to economic growth

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