In a recent article of Kang and Hwang (2016) which was published in Energy Policy, examined whether related innovation activities transforms into a systemic direction when considering the European Union funded international networks while also checking whether the European Union has contributed to establishing an effective ecosystem for systemic renewable energy innovation.
Several structural properties as indicators were used to evaluate the systemic innovation conditions of a network due to its dual dimensions as appropriate measurement were suggested. Two network properties; the structural closure and structural holes diagnosed the overall network structure with respect to market exploitation and technology exploration, measuring the overall degree of connectivity.
The other indication applied two properties namely; the hierarchy and disassortativity in order to evaluate interoperability between technology exploration and market exploitation. The use of the hierarchy with a core-periphery structure reveals the heterogeneity in relations of capable organization across the network. The disassortativity property showed the tendency of the nodes in the network to connect one another with those who exhibit dissimilar degrees.
For effective combination of openness strategies for network positioning, the authors regarded the country boundary as a condition for judging organization openness to external partnerships provided that renewable energy innovation depends on geographical factors, market readiness and institutional schemes. A two-step approach was also implemented to determine whether an organization has more relationship with foreign or domestic firms and later measured by use of an external-internal index and secondly, correlation between external-internal index while checking whether the actors are in line with systematic innovation in the network based on their openness strategies.
The authors also employed framework programs and Intelligent Energy Europe sub-program for studying correlation between technology exploration and market exploitation.
When observing the overall network structures, both actual and random networks in period I (2003-2007) and period II (2008-2013) were similar in average path lengths indicating small-world tendencies but a larger overall clustering coefficient in actual networks was found. Higher constraint were also found in actual networks in both periods compared to random networks depicting a major relational redundancies of the renewable energy innovation networks while structural holes were missing.
The renewable energy innovation network under the European Union which follows the small-world model direction had a diminished structural hole assembly as overall connectivity increases which is characterized by a high centralization and segmentation.
The hierarchy in both actual and random network was significant with cohesiveness of core organizations but the degree distribution in actual network was stronger compared to random network. A greater degree of correlations between that of focal length and its direct neighbors was more positive for actual networks compared to random networks which confirms presence of an assortative structure.
The core-periphery model when compared to the random models can be likened to a systemic renewable energy innovation under the European Union’s program. The core and periphery structures are dense and assortative but less segmented. This means that the core and peripheries are not effectively combined which can be related to the dissociation between the explorative and exploitation phase for systemic renewable energy innovation.
This study shows an increasing number of organizations have appropriate openness strategies based on their network positions which proposes its capability for systemic renewable energy innovation after a period of time.
Moon Jung Kang1, 2, Jongwoon Hwang2. Structural dynamics of innovation networks funded by the European Union in the context of systemic innovation of the renewable energy sector, Energy Policy 96 (2016) 471-490.Show Affiliations
- Chair of Innovation Economics, Technical University of Berlin, Müller-Breslau-Straße 15, 10623 Berlin, Germany.
- Industry and Technology Strategy Department, Korea Institute of Science and Technology Europe, Campue E 71 Uni des Saarlandes, 66123 Saarbruecken, Germany.
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