The Demola model as a public policy tool boosting collaboration in innovation: A comparative study between Finland and Spain

Technol Soc. 2020 Nov;63:101358. doi: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2020.101358. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

Abstract

The next generation of Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) policies will be defined by mission orientation and co-creation processes and implemented by dynamic public-private partnerships. However, the experience of European countries up to now in attempting to boost cooperation in innovation reveals a very different story. Beyond some contextual factors, the characteristics of the agents involved, the dynamics of their relationships and the design of the collaboration tools also have a critical influence at organisational level. This paper aims to identify these organisational factors in different contexts through the analysis of the Demola model, a university-industry innovation platform created in Finland which has spread to other countries, including Spain. Demola applies a standardised model but it has differences in its functioning depending on the national levels of collaboration in the innovation systems. In our case study, we have compared Finland and Spain, bearing in mind the features of the agents involved and their relationships, through a content analysis of primary and secondary information. The results of the study show that the institutional structure of the collaboration and the organisational culture of each institution are key factors in its functioning. These results can be useful for innovation managers, university leaders, educational experts and policy makers.

Keywords: Co-creation; Demola; Innovation; Public-private partnerships; University-industry collaboration.