The LARS Connectivity Model as a base for doctoral dissertation

What role should public organisations play in innovation activities? The dissertation by Antti Mäenpää is looking at the role of public organisations as innovation agents. The Connectivity model used in Mäenpää's research was designed to help the region of Ostrobothnia in its strategy formulation. In the LARS project, the utilisation of the tool has been expanded to 8 different regions in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Lithuania and Latvia.

Smart specialisation is suggesting that public organisations should step up their game in regional innovation activities and look for new solutions, which are based on the new use of current regional activities.

– In a sense regions are acting as entrepreneurs themselves, as they look at current resources and try to combine it in new ways in order to create new products, services and processes, Antti Mäenpää explains.

This activity, however, is challenging for public organisations who may not know how to start such process with regional stakeholders. Whereas universities and companies existence lies on their ability to innovate, public organisations have had a more passive role. So how can public organisations get into the action themselves? In the dissertation it is suggested that there are three main challenges, which may derive from this new position: stakeholder inclusion, knowledge generation and dominant actors.

– Connectivity model is developed in order to guide the regional development discussion based on preliminary findings and therefore it can be seen as one solution to these problems, Mäenpää says.

Read more about M. Sc. Antti Mäenpää´s doctoral dissertation “The Challenges of Public Organisations in Coordinating Smart Specialisation and a Connectivity Model as One Solution” here.

DSC 0010Antti Mäenpää giving a presentation to the LARS partners.

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Updated on 16.11.2017, at 11.40, Marie Sjölind.