Innovation ecosystem in contemporary economic researches

Iryna Yu. Pidorycheva


The paper explores the concept of an innovative ecosystem to describe the open dynamic network (non-hierarchical) environments consisting of organizations, people and institutions that are interacting in creating, using and diffusion of innovations.

The origins of the «innovation ecosystem» concept have been explored, the extensive review of the literature on ecosystem issues have been carried out. Analysis of the Scopus database for 1996-2019 showed that the frequency of mentioning the phrase «innovation ecosystem» has increased over the past decade in dozens of times and is growing exponentially. In 2019, the phrase «innovative ecosystem» found in scientific journals 119 times more likely to 2009. Moreover, the interest to this topic has not faded over time, but it is increasing – in 2015-2019 the frequency of mentioning of this phrase has augmented by 3.35 times, demonstrating the relevance of the research issues.

The literature review has shown that, despite the wide application of the term “innovation ecosystem” in the academic, political and business environments, there is no consensus among experts about what is really an innovation ecosystem. To that end, various views of scholars and practitioners on the phenomenon of innovation ecosystems have been analyzed, which have been systematized and grouped into four approaches: ecosystems organized around a focal (central) company; ecosystems as “structures” built around a focal value proposition (focal innovation); ecosystems as defined environments (spaces) that are forming at different levels – from local to global; ecosystems as platforms, around which the activities of stakeholders are organized. The key characteristics and features of these approaches have been defined, which allowed to ensure the theoretical organization of existing knowledge.

The differences between ecosystems and systems of innovation have been substantiated, the advantages of the ecosystem approach have been defined compared to the traditional systematic view of innovation creation. The properties of innovation ecosystems and modern innovation processes have been highlighted.

Given the purpose the Strategy of Innovative Development of Economy of Ukraine till 2030 to develop the national innovation ecosystem, the paper accentuates on the need to establish innovative ecosystems at the regional level (in regions or in a few of them within the economic regions) as organic components of the national innovation ecosystem, bearing in mind the rapid, large-scale and constant changes in the global environment, in which they are forming. The definition of the innovation ecosystem of a region (economic region) has been proposed. By adhering to the systemic and structural-functional approaches, the regional innovation ecosystem has been presented and described as a multidimensional model consisting of the ecosystem goal, actors (organizations), their environment and the system of relationships between actors within the ecosystem and the external environment. The conceptual model of the regional innovation ecosystem of Ukraine from the perspective of systems theory has been developed.

Basic provisions of the paper and its conclusions could be considered, when implementing innovation policy to form innovation ecosystems at different levels, including at the regional level (economic regions) of Ukraine as the most suitable for innovation.


ecosystem, innovation ecosystem, ecosystem approach, innovation, region, economic region, innovation policy

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