Governance and external impacts on collaborative innovation

The success of collaborative innovation is not only dependent on the partners involved in the collaboration. It is also highly affected by governance frameworks and other external impacts.

The experiences from the RiConfigure Social Labs and Dialogue Days suggest a list of external factors that partners in a collaboration should pay attention to:

  1. A fragmented landscape – partners should be aware that confusing funding landscapes, bureaucratic impediments, and conflicts of competence among different governance actors constitute a potential risk to the establishment and sustainability of collaborations.
  2. A lack of supporting policies – involving civil society in collaborative innovation requires and extra effort as it is not straight forwardly supported by the existing governance structures. This leaves a bigger role for individual commitment and motivation.
  3. The role of the initiating actor(s) – the initiating actor(s) has shown to be central to the characteristics of collaborative innovation depending on the nature of the actor(s), the sector in which it acts, and its motivation for initiating the collaboration.
  4. Process – partners should conceive collaborative innovation as an on-going coalition building process rather than an entity that it established at a certain point of time.
  5. Communication – in order to enhance collaborative innovation, partners should actively communicate how cross-sector collaboration with multiple actors improve one’s work.

In addition to this, participants of the RiConfigure Dialogue provided the following recommendations for policy that could support collaborative innovation:

  1. Flexibility in funding schemes that mirror the required flexibility of project planning in cross-sector collaboration.
  2. Alternative control measures with a larger focus on project development as opposed to final results.
  3. A larger degree of trust in the organizations receiving funding.