networked business ecosystems

  • 09 Apr

    Meta-ecosystem as a tool to generate cross-disciplinary innovations with global impact

    With all the recent economic and societal disruptions we are rapidly entering the Postnormal Era. Collaboration models, tools and organizational theories that were helpful during the Industrial Age are no longer valid. As our slogan states, it’s time for new paradigms. In this blog post we elaborate the meta-ecosystem concept to respond to challenges of the highly volatile future. Our approach can be applied for solving wicked global challenges requiring multidisciplinary international collaboration. However, it is also valid for the development purposes of any domain specific, regional or national level ecosystem, which is aiming to improve its competitiveness on a global scale and to increase the connectivity to global knowledge ecosystems.

    The major trend, which is relevant and fundamental to understand, is the increased importance of startup and innovation ecosystems in supporting entrepreneurship. Today, it is vital for the ecosystem operators to generate gravity and attract global talent. It is essential to get rid of the gatekeepers, who in the Industrial Era were in charge of creating connections between ecosystem members. Ecosystems need to become self-orchestrated and connected to each other on the practical level to enable effective cross-pollination.

    From local ecosystems to meta-ecosystems

    We are sensing that ecosystems will be the decisive entities, when evaluating success factors on the future competitive landscape. Actually, we believe that competition will increasingly happen not anymore between companies, but rather between ecosystems. For most of the local ecosystems forming or joining meta-ecosystems will be the only way to ensure competitiveness in the global landscape. In fact, even their existence in the longer term is a matter of belonging to a more viable and competitive meta-ecosystem. 

    The global startup ecosystem landscape is strongly dominated by the US based hubs, such as Silicon Valley and Boston. These most successful global ecosystems will keep draining talents and ambitious startups from all over the world and thus become even stronger. Unfortunately, the means to fight against this trend are very limited. By applying the meta-ecosystem approach in other parts of the world, we have a feasible solution to tackle this challenge. The market proven coaching and support services need to be combined with top talent and latent resources across the local ecosystems, especially in less developed ones.

    So what is a meta-ecosystem? 

    It’s a synergetic and interdisciplinary combination of digitally interconnected domain specific ecosystems, powered by platform thinking and effective digital trust building practises.

    Relevant tools and practices

    In the context of digital connectivity between ecosystems we introduce a notion of a competence platform, which has an important role in the idea elaboration, team formation, matchmaking and trust building. When deployed and uptaken by a critical mass of individual users, such a digital platform starts to catalyze interaction and therefore increases the dynamics within the meta-ecosystem. It also creates much needed gravity and attracts motivated and skilled people and their organizations and hence improves the talent potential and dynamic capabilities of the entire meta-ecosystem. 

    In order to achieve these objectives, participants of the meta-ecosystem shall integrate services to support top talents and wannabe entrepreneurs all the way through from starting up a new business to the global scale up and, potentially, a unicorn. This approach will help utilizing the best possible resources within the meta-ecosystem at different phases of the business lifecycle. Any talent or company in any location of the meta-ecosystem will get access to the comprehensive set of integrated services provided by top level experts. In addition, through the competence matching tools, any talent or company will get a possibility to identify co-founders with matching skills and ambitions, business development partners or investors seeking investment opportunities. Such a strongly result-oriented digital meta-connectivity between domain specific ecosystems is an essential new element in the European innovation landscape.

    Role of the competence platform

    We strongly believe that increasing diversity within the professional community substantially increases the chance for impactful insights and, consequently, disruptive innovations to occur. The role of the competence platform is to enable the seamless interconnectivity between all participants. We see it as a “digital glue” or a vascular system, which connects all the pieces of the meta-ecosystem together. With the help of a powerful and comprehensive competence platform our vision is to build a highly talented and inspiring global metacommunity of students as wannabe entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, scaleups, SMEs, larger corporations, service providers, public entities, business angels and venture capital companies. That kind of setting enables us to build a unique meta-ecosystem consisting of motivated free agents and established organizations. The inspiration and momentum generated will increase the competitiveness of all parties involved. 

    Competence platform is well suited for the following purposes

    • crowdsourcing and initial elaboration of new ideas (pre-project phase)
    • matching users’ skills to form effective project and startup teams (pre-incubation phase)
    • matching motivated people with user-generated challenges
    • competence matching tool emphasizing future skills (wills) of users

    See below the comparison between a typical matchmaking tool and the competence platform.

    FeatureMatchmaking toolCompetence platform
    Basic approachStructured and moderatedCommunity driven
    Typical userRegisteredEngaged
    MatchmakingAround predefined topicsAround user-generated challenges
    Matching principlesProfile database search;
    Self-evaluated skills
    Peer to peer validated skills;
    Holistic approach, both skills and motivation included, machine learning algorithms
    The key success factorsNumber of users;
    Number of (successful) matches
    New ideasActive teams working around ideas;
    Unexpected combinations of competences and therefore disruptive ideas in a pipeline
    Targeted outcomeNetworking of like-minded usersBreakthrough innovations based on serendipitous encounters within a highly diverse and engaged community
  • 25 Oct

    ECOLEAD, Joensuu Science Park

    Ilkka Kakko was acting as the Project Manager for Joensuu Science Park’s part in the project 2004-2008, first as a Manager at JSP but later 2007-08 finished the project based on commercial agreement between JSP and Karostech.  ECOLEAD was an ambitious 6th FramSaveework EU -research project (IP =Integrated Project) with the total budget of 15 M euros and 26 partners – universities, research units and industrial partners. JSP and especially its netWork Oasis department managed by Ilkka Kakko was a demonstration and research partner in the Professional Virtual Communities (PVC) area.

    ECOLEAD is acknowledged widely as the main achievement in the research discipline of  Collaborative Networked Organizations (CNOs). The methodologies and practices of CNOs were researched, developed, piloted.  Based on the results of the project Springer published three books:

    ”Network -Centric Collaboration and Supporting Networks”, edited by Luis M. Camarinha Matos & Hamideh Afsarmanesh & Martin Ollus, 2006

    ”Methods and Tools for Collaborative Networked Organizations”, edited by Luis M. Camarinha Matos & Hamideh Afsarmanesh & Martin Ollus, 2008

    ”Collaborative Networks: Reference Modelling” , by Luis M. Camarinha Matos & Hamideh Afsarmanesh, 2008

    The reference model ARCON and the methodologies and tools developed and piloted in ECOLEAD have been the theoretical basis for the development of our 3GSP (Third Generation Science Parks) – concept and have also given the building blocks for our approach towards the way we build innovation communities. The understanding of the virtual organizations and teams and especially the vital role of Virtual Organization Breeding Environments (VBEs) are useful in the creation of networked business ecosystems and can be utilized also when supporting cluster development in regions.

    The PVC and VBE models are further developed by Karostech and in the pipeline we have a new ”freelancers and coworkers in cloud” service, which is soon ready for the piloting phase.

  • 02 Apr

    Karostech Ltd as a key partner in a new ENPI project

    Karostech is participating in a new ENPI project “Open Innovation Service for Emerging Business –OpenINNO”. The other partners are the Association of Centers for Engineering and Automation (St. Petersburg), Saint-Petersburg State Polytechnical University, Committee of the Economic Development, Industrial Policy and Trade (City of St. Petersburg), Committee on IT and Communications (City of St. Petersburg), Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola Innovation Ltd, Saint-Petersburg Interregional Resource Center, and Tahto Media Ltd.
    The Overall objective of the project is “to contribute to economical development of partners regions through fostering pre-incubating stage of innovation life-cycle by developing, piloting and testing the competitive open ecosystem for interregional cooperation with special focus on young entrepreneurs.” The Kick Off event of the two years project was held in St. Petersburg on 15th of March.
    Karostech’s areas of expertise in the project are the creation and implementation of “Oasis-like” environment in St. Petersburg and the creation and facilitation of CNO methodologies in the project operations.