Rethinking collaborative innovation processes: Don't focus on goals but steer the network's dynamic

A new foresight method for managing innovation networks, as well as an instrument for measuring innovative processes in real-time have been created and elaborated during the research project "Dynamic Innovation Networks in Disaster Management".
By: Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE)
Christina Weber 'Real-time Foresight' ISBN 978-3-00-055001-0 (c) SCE
Christina Weber 'Real-time Foresight' ISBN 978-3-00-055001-0 (c) SCE
MUNICH - Feb. 7, 2017 - PRLog -- In close cooperation, the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE), Munich University of Applied Sciences and Leiden University in the Netherlands have created a new foresight method for managing innovation networks, as well as an instrument for measuring innovative processes in real-time, elaborated during the research project "Dynamic Innovation Networks in Disaster Management". The research project has been supported by the Hella Langer Foundation and now was concluded in a traditional festive venue at Leiden University the 20th of December 2016 with the defense of the dissertation titled "Real-time foresight – preparedness for dynamic innovation networks",  written by PhD Christina Weber.

Global challenges can only be solved in collaboration with different partners. For some time past, thus cooperative networks are considered to be the best possible framework to convert locations into hubs for innovation, or to react effectively on emerging crises. Nevertheless, reality still differs: Despite digital support and best possible planning, many innovation projects fail due to initial uncertainty and the difficulty to overcome differences. Collaborating in real-time without preset goals remains to be an unpredictable risk. Many organizations and companies shy away from ad hoc collaboration with unknown partners, even though they are in urgent need of innovative solutions.

Using reconstruction efforts after global catastrophes as an example, the SCE research project investigated this problem, under supervision of Prof. Dr. Jaap van den Herik from Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS, Leiden University). The study aimed at exploring thoroughly how network collaborations can be successful, sustainable and innovative in a troubled and dynamic environment. The results suggest that there is in fact no such thing as sudden well-performing "adhocracies", but  rather collaborations that follow underlying procedural network dynamics instead of disrupting these success patterns.

By conducting a comparative analysis of critical events, heterogeneous socio-technical agents and repeating communication patterns, three complex global actor-networks have been observed for seven years. Innovative and sustainable reconstruction turned out to be possible where five success patterns verifiably took place. By identifying those patterns, the so-called "dynamic network principles", the study makes an important contribution to the investigation of processual network management and the evaluation of innovation networks – and start-up teams.

"While we were dealing from the beginning of this research with the question of why traditional planning and management approaches fail when it comes to innovative solutions for urging problems, real-time feedback and real-time foresight have not been on the  agenda", stated Dr. Christina Weber and Prof. Dr. Klaus Sailer. Therefore, it is true that explorative studies are innovative projects in itself. If the research process had not been kept open, the recognition of the five success patterns would not have occurred.

The results of the scientific work are accessible to the public at the library of the University of Leiden. ( Real-time foresight has already been included in the SCE's entrepreneurial teaching formats. The indicator-model to measure innovative processes while those are occurring, and not when they have already happened, is of great importance for supporting start-ups and will be applied to other research project at the Munich University of Applied Sciences' incubator.

Contact Details:
Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship
Dr. Christina Weber (
Head of Research
Hss-Street 89
80797 Munich

The Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE) of the Munich University of Applied Sciences offers training and research programs in the field of entrepreneurship, and encourages innovation processes and the development of entrepreneurial personalities. SCE supports business start-ups from science and guides young businesses from idea development to marketable innovation. In this way SCE actively contributes to shaping the future of our society and to establishing a comprehensive start-up culture. SCE was founded in 2002 as an affiliated institute of the Munich University of Applied Sciences (MUAS). In July 2011 SCE and MUAS became one of the six EXIST Start-Up Universities in Germany. For further information, visit

Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE)
Source:Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE)
Tags:Foresight, Collaboration, Innovation
Location:Munich - Bavaria - Germany
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