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Entrepreneurship as an Innovation Driver in an Industrial Ecosystem

  • Markus Hofmann
  • Ferran Giones
Chapter
Part of the FGF Studies in Small Business and Entrepreneurship book series (FGFS)

Abstract

Understanding how a new digital technology can translate into a valuable innovation is a challenge for established players and new entrants. For industrial players in an ecosystem, it can be both a threat and an opportunity. Furthermore, the new technologies open collaboration opportunities between corporates and start-ups. But it remains unclear what are the consequences of opening up and whether it has an impact on the innovation dynamics in the industrial ecosystem.

We use the case of the wind industry in Denmark, as a maturing industrial ecosystem, to study when and how the new entrants (technology entrepreneurs) have had an impact on the innovation dynamics. We first combine archival data with interviews to build a historical account of the evolution of the industrial ecosystem; then we incorporate data from the new entrants in the industry to specify the types of innovations that the most recent digital technology entrepreneurs have triggered.

The results suggest differences in the innovation dynamics depending on the value chain position. While some activities have remained rather closed (for instance, the technological development of the core elements in the wind turbines), the operations and maintenance activities have profited from digital technologies introduced by new entrants. Using these insights, we present and discuss suggestions to institutional actors interested in protecting the innovation leadership of their regional industrial ecosystems.

Keywords

Innovation ecosystem Digital entrepreneurship Wind industry Digital innovation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markus Hofmann
    • 1
  • Ferran Giones
    • 1
  1. 1.Mads Clausen InstituteUniversity of Southern DenmarkSønderborgDenmark

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