Establishing a Framework for Collaborative Innovation Processes in a Technological District in Italy

By Francesco Sofo, Antonio Palmiro Volpentesta and Salvatore Ammirato.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A learning community is a collaborative network involved in maintenance and innovation which is based on common aims, shared meanings, common approaches, commitment to effective implementation and mutual accountability. All of these elements are focused on continuous creative tension. A technological district is a form of learning community, that is a collaborative network in a limited geographical area, where a variety of economic entities such as enterprises, research centres and public administrations are occupied in high-intensive research activities and distributed scientific-technological processes, including knowledge sharing and technological innovation. In this paper, a technological district scenario is proposed where a virtual breeding environment (VBE) defines a set of key working and sharing principles that enable collaboration among its members. A theoretical and practical framework is presented designed to stimulate opportunities and preparedness of technological district members to create virtual organisations (VOs). A VBE organisational framework is introduced for a technological district and an approach is introduced to identify configurations of VOs whose aim is to conduct innovation projects. The paper is based on a pilot implementation of the project LogNET-LOGICA which involved research laboratories of the three universities in Calabria and a few enterprises of the technological district of Gioia Tauro, Italy. The central contribution of this paper consists in providing a mechanism to identify and assemble competencies in a technological district. This paper suggests the source and type of competencies needed to conduct innovation projects as well as the partner enterprises that are best suited to carry out particular innovation projects.

Keywords: Technological District, Virtual Breeding Environment, Innovation Projects, Italy

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.141-150. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 615.448KB).

Prof. Francesco Sofo

Associate Professor of Human Resource Development, Communication and Education, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia

Associate Professor Sofo’s career goal is to be the best he can in assisting in the learning and development of individuals, groups and organizations. Dr Sofo has held a number of positions in the University such as director of HRD Centre, Head Educational Leadership and Professional Development Program in the Division of Communication and Education and also the University Country Team Leader, Projects Development, USA & Canada.He has studied and promoted HRD within Australia, and internationally at Warwick University, George Washington University, Pittsburg State University, Hangzhou University, China, the Universities of Ljubljana in Slovenia and ESADE Business School in Barcelona and has helped establish HRD research and award courses at the University of Arkansas.

Antonio Palmiro Volpentesta

Associate Professor, Department of Electronics, Computer Science and Systems, University of Calabria, Rende (CS), Italy

Antonio P. Volpentesta is an Associate Professor of Economics and Management Engineering (Faculty of Engineering, University of Calabria). He received his Laurea in Matematica from the University of Pisa in 1975 and has published over 80 papers in operation research, information systems and management engineering. He is the Scientific Director of GiudaLab-DEIS, where many European projects have been carried out in the past 15 years. His research interests include learning community, virtual enterprises, knowledge management, e-business and collaborative commerce, and conceptual design.

Dr. Salvatore Ammirato

Department of Electronics, Computer Science and Systems, University of Calabria, Rende (CS), Italy

Salvatore Ammirato is a member of the GiudaLab-DEIS Research Group. He received a degree in Management Engineering (2002) and a PhD in Operation Research (2006) at University of Calabria. His main research interests are collaborative networks and eBusiness; on these topics, he had published several papers.

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