🟢 How to benchmark an innovation ecosystem

To kick off the new year, I wanted to share one of the tools we've used for many years and many different customers. It's about benchmarking an innovation ecosystem.

🟢 How to benchmark an innovation ecosystem
Photo by Jess Bailey / Unsplash

Whether you want to launch an open innovation initiative, find new partners, or target the regional velocity on a given tech or market, you'll have to find a way to make sense of dozens of both qualitative and quantitative parameters and give a score to a region. Is Berlin better than Singapore for innovation on [ insert your topic of interest ]? The answer to this burning question often comes from an innovation ecosystem benchmark.

Just download it?  

Obviously, you can simply download any cookie-cutter report on the matter and trust it blindly. To be honest, you will have an acceptable (if very broad) idea of how much innovation is going on. However, the issue is generally two-fold:

  1. You will have to accept very generic metrics, such as the amount of money raised by startups or the number of patents issued, as correlated to the kind of innovation you're looking for.
  2. By nature, the information you'll get won't match precisely (if at all) what you are actually looking for when you say "innovation".

To give you a few examples of non-generic issues we help address, these last years, we worked on:

  • A benchmark to help a large European biotech cluster find where the next waves of foodtech innovation would come from and the level of compatibility of these different ecosystems (from Berkeley to Singapore) in regards of their own portfolio of activities.
  • A decision-making framework for an acceleration program having to decide if they should focus on Asia or Northern Europe to find scaling partners for their startups post-series A.
  • An open-innovation scouting map for dozens of public tech-transfer programs for a Fortune 500 company in consumer goods.

These benchmarks require intimate knowledge of the customer's needs and precision in choosing specific KPIs.

Our step-by-step

All in all, we end up following pretty much the same logic when starting such a mission:

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