About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 1788-1794
ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.0402
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Innovation is important as it enables the bringing of new and fresh things to the market, which challenge old services, products and businesses and thus opens the way for development. Innovation can be regarded as a combination of existing ideas or the generation of new ideas, products and services, or widely viewed as the main driver of growth in contemporary economies. In the era of the knowledge economy, the economic rise of a society is closely linked to its ability to produce, disseminate and apply innovations and to utilize and lead collaborative innovation ecosystems.

Network-based co-creation is an attempt at addressing the challenges in public sector innovation, and it has developed into a globally adopted key principle for creating and producing public services. It engages different actors to recognise and solve collaboratively needs and problems pertaining to services and the service ecosystem. Collaborative innovation utilizes the resources and creativity of external networks and communities to strengthen the speed of innovation process and to improve the scope and quality of innovations. Service ecosystems emphasize the idea that co-creation takes place in networks consisting of customers, the public and private sectors, as well as other stakeholders.

Co-creation has mainly been studied from the perspective of customers and companies. In this paper, we examine the perspective of higher education. Thus, the purpose of the paper is to deepen understanding of the role of higher education institutes in the public innovation ecosystem. Drawing upon three workshops, which were attended by the public sector and university representatives, as well as public management literature, the aim of the paper is to outline characteristics for participation of higher education institutes in the public innovation ecosystems.

The results indicate that higher education institutes have a significant role in the public innovation ecosystem as drivers of national competitiveness. In addition to their educational mission, higher education institutes promote regional development by maintaining networks and orchestrating innovation activities in the ecosystem.
Higher education, public innovation, innovation ecosystems.