Fostering collaborations by managing different proximity dimensions: a hybrid system dynamics/agent-based model for academic entrepreneurship in innovation ecosystems

Bernd Wurth, Susan Howick, Niall MacKenzie

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Innovation in regions and industries has been subject to research from many different perspectives. Various concepts have emerged over time, from industrial districts to clusters, learning regions, and, more recently, ecosystems. Common to all of these is that collaboration between different actors are key to the overall development, but the reason that researchers have moved on from each of the aforementioned is that effective ways of measuring interactions and performance have not yet been found yet. Based on a complex systems approach, a hybrid system dynamics (SD)/agent-based modelling (ABM) simulation was developed. Universities are modelled as SD modules, which represent the internal structures and reflect the consequences of entrepreneurial activities and collaborations on the university. The SD modules are connected to an ABM module that includes a population of established companies and start-ups, with different characteristics and configurations. This simulation approach is used to measure the dynamics of social, organisational, and institutional proximity and how this affects the links between universities and the ecosystem. The paper presents first simulation results and implications for policy and practice. Further research trajectories are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017
EventTechnology Transfer Society Conference - Arlington, United States
Duration: 2 Nov 20174 Nov 2017


ConferenceTechnology Transfer Society Conference
CountryUnited States



  • entrepreneurship
  • collaboration
  • innovation

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