Launch Workshop – Media X at Stanford University

Innovation Ecosystems Benkyo-Kai

The word, “benkyo-kai,”aptly describes a new initiative focused on Innovation Ecosystems. In Japanese tradition, benkyo-kai – study groups – have formed around key technological initiatives. We’ve formed this one around innovation itself, and the ecosystem conditions in which it thrives.

Optimizing the catalytic impact of public and private investments in technology-based development has been a focus in many countries and regions for several decades. Some experiments of innovation ecosystems – science parks, technology parks, business parks, or business clusters – are heralded as successes; some disappear from awareness; others are deemed failures.Some say we’re now living in a global “stimulus economy.” Current stimulus programs targeting innovation usher in a new wave of public investment in new experiments. Yet, a clear understanding of success (and failure) factors and metrics for regional information communication technology (ICT) experiments with international interdependencies has not been developed.

We seek to change this with the Innovation Ecosystems Initiative, which focuses on a data-driven analysis and visualization approach. An international group of scientists with expertise in network analysis, information visualization, data mining and integration, regional development, technology transfer, and reputation development propose a comparative study of well-established and new programs for technology-based economic development in ICT.

Four regions – Beijing, China; Tokyo, Japan; Tampere, Finland; and Silicon Valley, USA – have been selected as the starting points for the study.

A Media X Workshop on March 5, 2010, introduced the Innovation Ecosystems Benkyo-Kai to American, Canadian, Asian, and European collaborators, with interests in government, educaiton and business interventions.

We welcome data partners, analysis partners and community-of-practice partners to this benkyo-kai. Contact: martha.russell@stanford.edu

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