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Toward collaborative networking among innovation laboratories: a conceptual framework

Atia Bano Memon (University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany and Department of Computer Science, University of Sindh , Jamshoro, Pakistan)
Kyrill Meyer ( Institute for Digital Technologies , Leipzig, Germany)
Muhammad Nawaz Tunio ( Alpen Adria University of Klagenfurt , Klagenfurt, Austria)

International Journal of Innovation Science

ISSN: 1757-2223

Article publication date: 16 September 2021




The purpose of this paper is to suggest a conceptual framework of collaborative networking among structurally and functionally varying types of Innovation Laboratories, which will enable them to leverage upon diverse competencies of each other and thereby facilitate their clients (business organizations) throughout the innovation process.


The conceptual framework proposed herein is oriented around design science research, whereby the important constructs underpinning the development of framework are identified from existing literature. The framework is based upon two constructs, service-based categorization of extant Innovation Laboratories, and concepts of horizontal and vertical modes of inter-InnoLab collaboration (collaboration among Innovation Laboratories). The framework is subsequently developed in iterations based on experts’ views and discussions.


The conceptual framework presents eight different opportunities of interconnection among Innovation Laboratories including the four horizontal collaboration possibilities as network of mentors, network of process intermediaries, network of resource providers and network of network coordinators which are followed by four subsequent vertical collaboration possibilities among these horizontal collaboration networks. The proposed collaborative network of Innovation Laboratories enables undertaking of complete innovation process with four possible entry and four possible exit points for business organizations.


The conceptual framework proposed herein is first of its kind to suggest a worldwide collaborative networking among Innovation Laboratories. The applicability and usefulness of the framework is supported by the existing ad hoc type individual collaborative activities being exercised by different kinds of Innovation Laboratories as reported by Innovation Laboratory facilitators and observed in practical field.



The authors wish to thank the editors and anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback and suggestions for improving the manuscript. The authors are also thankful to the Innovation Laboratory facilitators for providing massive information that has shaped this study. Atia Bano Memon is additionally thankful to the University of Sindh and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan for sponsoring her doctoral studies at the University of Leipzig, Germany.


Memon, A.B., Meyer, K. and Tunio, M.N. (2021), "Toward collaborative networking among innovation laboratories: a conceptual framework", International Journal of Innovation Science, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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