University of Central Florida, USA
Title: International virtual space innovation clusters to support space missions & exploration
Biography: Pamela McCauley
It is well established that innovation exhibits strong geographical clustering in locations where specialized inputs, services and resources for innovation processes are located (Asheim & Gertler, 2005). Given the disparate nature of the international space community, it is logical to explore opportunities for creating this “innovation clustering” that is normally restricted to geographical clusters as a “virtual innovation cluster”. Thus, location and spatial concentration of firms that stimulate flows of knowledge between firms and between universities and firms and interactive learning are critical aspects of collaborative innovation efforts that generate new knowledge and innovations however much of this knowledge continues to be tied to certain physical locations (Liu, Chaminade & Asheim, 2013). Multinational firms take advantage of this by locating in those concentrations (clusters) in the world that have accumulated specific competencies and knowledge that is difficult to acquire elsewhere (Lewin, Massini & Peeters (2009), which gives opportunities to fully exploit the interaction between intra- and inter-firm knowledge networks (Coe, Dicken & Hess, 2008). The question is whether or not this can be accomplished with a virtual innovation cluster and this presentation makes a case for the establishment of science focused innovation clusters comprised of multinational companies, universities and governmental space agencies. To achieve this vision, one must understand the importance of local input factors and of local inter-firm dynamics for a firm’s ability to innovate and to gain competitive advantage is well documented in the literature on innovation and regional development (Wolfe, 2009). This understanding must then be translated and modelled in secure virtual, on-line or social media collaborative environments. This keynote presentation shares the importance of space collaboration advancing towards virtual clusters and explores the use of collaborative innovation models to achieve the goal of international virtual space innovation clusters.