Wednesday, November 01, 2006

DBE at ISBE2006

The team at UCE is presenting today a paper, "Regional catalysts: learning our roles in developing a digital ecosystem", regarding the DBE-related activities in the UK-West Midlands Region at the Institue for Small Business and Entrepeneurship conference 2006, which is held this year in Cardif/Wales (UK).

Regional catalysts: learning our roles in developing a digital ecosystem


Type of Paper: Research

Objectives: The paper analyses the experiences of three regional catalyst partners in a digital business ecosystem project to add to our understanding of the intervention processes between catalysts, SMEs, and regional agencies.

Prior work: The paper draws on recent explanations of regional ICT initiatives specifically from a project and institutional focus.A technological view tends to talk in terms of SME ICT readiness and their place in an e-adoption ladder-or to question the determinism of assuming there is such a ladder. (E.g. Pavic, Simpson, Koh, 2005). An institutional view (Jianxin, Millman, Martin, 2005) looks at the relationship between government and other public agencies e.g.bureaucracy for SMEs to cope with in accessing support or funding. A socio-cultural view looks at the ways in which a region develops norms that encourage or discourage a climate for innovation(Jones and Mohon, 2005;Mitra, 2005;McClelland and Atherton, 2005; Martin; Warren Smith, Adams, Roper and Scott, 2005)). A project management view (Price and Atherton, 2005;Costello and Thompson, 2005) looks at the inputs, processes and outputs of a specific interventions.The current paper adopts the project perspective and considers the institutional relationships between the project and local agencies. We wish mainly to compare and understand the effectiveness of the three regional catalysts’ practices in terms of their ability to meet project goals.There has ben no similar report on regional catalysts in an open source ecosystem project of this type.

Approach: The relevant part of the project has adopted a participant-observation approach based on the role of the regional catalysts-responsible for recruiting, assisting, and promoting the work of a number of SMEs(target 250 across Europe).A number of in project reports have been used as evidential triangulation methods.

Results: Results show that three European regions have adopted some similar and some different institutional methods to support this project. These differences may indicate areas of development and improvement in the regional network relationships.

Implications: The implications of this project are that regional networks of SMEs, policy makers,and regional catalysts can develop their mutual interactions in order to compete.New regions to the project can evaluate the project findings in designng their support infrastructure. Existing regions can reflect on the arrangements they have in place to see if there are opportunities to build on the processes and provisions that exist

Value: The paper offers an insight into the challenges facing new and experienced ICT catalysts in European regions.It adds to our understanding of the relationship between SMEs and European research projects.

Keywords: Regional, Catalyst, Digital, Ecosystem

Institute For Small Business and Entrepeneurship

ISBE 2006 Conference

Paper Track:

Paper Abstract


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