Building an ecosystem to foster innovation

19 May 2017

The Netherlands is one of the innovation leaders in Europe. A strong science base, world class companies and government support policies result in an ecosystem with strong linkages between innovation partners. How can you create such an environment that stimulates innovation? TNO can help you to develop effective innovative ecosystems and policies to support these.

From projects towards an ecosystem for innovation

A network of project partners creates an environment where new innovations can emerge. In developing countries many project are ongoing, mostly as public private partnerships. Ending of the project will mostly result in termination of the partnership. It is important to maintain the linkages and collaboration between different actors because this ecosystem is a sustainable approach to foster development and innovation.
An innovation ecosystem focuses on the relations (national/international) between actors whose goal is to enable technology development and innovation. Different entities need to participate in the ecosystem: universities and research institutes, government policy makers, business firms, civil society organisations, and finance institutions. The participants contribute with human capital such as students, staff and industry researchers, but can also participate with material resources such as funds, tools and facilities.


Main cornerstones of an innovation ecosystem are:

  • Interconnections and networking between participants
  • The sharing and creating of knowledge and technology
  • Diversity in financial sources for partners in innovation
  • Boost to the business climate
Collaboration between 4 differerent actors is key for innovation

Added value TNO

TNO, the Dutch applied scientific research institute, is an important stakeholder in the Dutch innovation eco-system. TNO connects people and knowledge to create innovations that boost the sustainable competitive strength of industry and well-being of society. We can be the linking pin between private sector, knowledge institutes, government and civil society organizations; four different types of actors known as the ‘Quadruple Helix’ or ‘Dutch Diamond’. In the TNO Innovation for Development program we focus on creating inclusive innovations in developing countries and emerging economies. TNO adds value in supporting the development of  innovation eco-systems in emerging economies by means of:
1. Analysing  existing innovation ecosystems. This can be done for the ecosystem in general or on a specific subject such as the role of research or external connections.
2. Determination of the  potential of the future innovation ecosystem, with respect to stakeholder management or financial resources
3. Coaching certain actors to grow towards a Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) with a corresponding commercially viable business model
4. Mentoring role during the realisation of an innovation ecosystem. Knowledge and information can be provided about topics such as intellectual property or the development of a strategic plan.
5. Innovation policies needed to support effective innovation ecosystems

More information

Information sheet on building innovation eco-systems in developing countries

Read here

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