Open Innovation, Triple-Helix, Innovation Intermediaries and National Systems of Innovation : a comparative case study analysis of the Offshore Renewable Energy and High-Value Manufacturing CATAPULT centres
MetadataShow full item record
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to develop our understanding of Open Innovation, Innovation Intermediaries, the Triple-Helix model, the National System of Innovation model, establishing a link between the concepts within a new and emerging context. Design/Methodology/Approach: This study adopted a Critical Realism philosophy. Following a case study methodology, this study analysed the High-Value Manufacturing CATAPULT and the Offshore Renewable Energy CATAPULT as ‘observable events’. Data was collected using a qualitative approach, in accordance with a concrete research design (Sayer, 1992), with data emerging from semi-structured interviews and was supported by the analysis of documentation. Thematic techniques were employed in the analysis of this data, following a retroductive strategy. Findings: This study establishes a clear link between the concepts of Open Innovation, Innovation Intermediaries, the Triple-Helix model, and the National System of Innovation model. In doing so, the findings of this study broaden the conceptualisation of Open Innovation. Recognising a wider range of resources that permeate organisational boundaries during this process and expanding beyond a conceptualisation based on ‘knowledge’ exclusively. The case study organisations (High-Value Manufacturing Catapult and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult) are then shown to operate within a ‘sectoral’ system of innovation, which in turn is part of a larger ‘national’ system of innovation. With the primary ‘underlying mechanism’ of these ‘observable events’ being that of triple-helix interaction (i.e., interaction between industry, academia, and government). This mode of interaction is shown to be structured in a way which is consistent with the empirical model proposed by Nakwa and Zawdie (2012). However, the roles that innovation intermediaries play in facilitating this interaction are shown to differ from those originally proposed. Organisations from these spheres instead adopt revised roles in comparison to the traditional roles associated with firms. Towards the end of the study, the findings illustrate that there are several factors underlying the outcomes of the open innovation activity within this system of interaction (e.g., underlying mechanisms of OI), and in doing so, positions Open Innovation as an ‘underlying mechanism’ of triple-helix interaction. Finally, the study attempts to synthesise all the observed ‘real’ events and the ‘underlying mechanisms’ discussed as part of this study, presenting the findings in an empirical model which demonstrates the complex nature of interaction of ‘observable events’ and the ‘underlying mechanisms’ discussed. Research Limitations: There were only a limited number of case studies that were worthy of investigation. At the time of publication only 9 CATAPULT centres were in existence. This had a notable impact on the study, primarily regarding the limited sample size of respondents that were at the necessary managerial level to contribute to the outcomes of this study. Consequently, this study was unable to substantiate previous research on all the outcome factors, during the empirical investigation. There was also weakness in the research design, in terms of its longitudinal limitations. Originality/Value: This research provides unique insights into our theoretical understanding of Open Innovation, Intermediaries, the Triple-Helix model, and the National System of Innovation model. The study develops an empirical model demonstrating how previously siloed concepts overlap, to form a combined model and adopts a novel methodological approach (Critical Realism). The study also increases understanding for/supports policymakers in the design of systems for supporting innovation within the UK. Empowering managers within innovation intermediaries by highlighting several organizational, network and individual level factors influencing the outcome of projects displaying similar characteristics.