Sustainability | Free Full-Text | Collaboration for Sustainable Innovation Ecosystem: The Role of Intermediaries
Innovation ecosystems have increasingly been studied from various perspectives, including connecting innovation ecosystems to sustainable development. Extant studies have found that innovation is important for sustainable development, collaboration is important for innovation, and intermediaries create necessary links and opportunities for the development of relations and cooperation between different actors in an ecosystem. What has been missing, however, is an explicit analysis of the process of collaboration in innovation ecosystems to ensure sustainability and the role of intermediaries in the process. To fill this void, this paper studies six organizations that act as intermediaries, using a multiple-case design approach. It analyzes the process of collaboration in innovation ecosystems and elucidates the role of intermediaries in the development of sustainable ecosystems. The findings indicate that the process of collaboration between actors in innovation ecosystems is an iterative process facilitated by intermediaries. By connecting different actors, intermediaries support the diffusion of innovation that has important implications for building sustainable innovation ecosystems and achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).