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Factors impacting the diffusion of disruptive digital ecosystems

Visiting Japanese and Finnish researchers share their latest findings on digital ecosystems

Aalto University and Nokia Foundation organized an open seminar on Factors impacting the diffusion of disruptive digital ecosystems on Tuesday, August 16th, 2016. The seminar was held in Open Innovation House, SimLab. The seminar included four interesting research presentations on the topic.

Assistant Professor Tohru Yoshioka-Kobayashi from the Institute of Innovation Research at Hitotsubashi University talked about the innovation potential of industrial designers who often provide the link between the invented products and their potential users. One of the implications of his research was that R&D managers should let industrial designers join the technology invention process.

The second presenter, Mr. Shiu Jing-Ming, a project Researcher from the Manufacturing Management Research Center at the University of Tokyo discussed how standards can also become knowledge spillovers. After his presentation, an active discussion took place around where standards are needed and when they provide added value to the business participants.

After the two Japanese presentations, Mr. Kimmo Karhu, a Doctoral Student at Aalto University presented his research findings on platform based strategizing. Mr. Karhu noted that open platform licensing is more complex than previously thought. In practice, three types of licenses can be used: strong copyleft, weak copyleft and permissive. The use of a certain license has implications on the development of the digital ecosystem. Mr. Karhu also pointed out that increased openness together with “platformization” pose novel competitive challenges such as platform forking which need to be taken into account.

The final presentation by Mr. Timo Ali-Vehmas, Chair of the Board of Nokia Foundation, and a Doctoral student at Aalto University, continued the discussion around standardization by taking the network perspective. Mr. Ali-Vehmas claimed that standardization provides a leadership opportunity for companies. Mr. Ali-Vehmas has used social network analysis to study inter-organizational collaboration around standardization. He has found that different standardization forums have different working methods and own histories which affect the collaboration. This presentation also induced a lively discussion around standardization, for example whether the interoperability between self-driving cars (from different manufacturers) need standardization in the future.

The seminar was facilitated by Mrs. Riitta Smeds, Professor at Aalto University Industrial Engineering and Management, and Director of SimLab.

The seminar ended in a lively discussion among the almost 50 participants that represented industry and academia in Finland and Japan. All in all, the seminar provided a great networking and learning opportunity to the participants. This became an additional fruitful outcome of the seminar: collaboration between companies and their individual employees is a prerequisite for the diffusion of digital ecosystems!  In addition, research collaboration between Aalto University and University of Tokyo was further developed during the fruitful informal discussions after the seminar.

Many thanks to the Nokia Foundation for enabling and supporting the seminar.

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