Digital innovation through partnership between nature conservation organisations and academia: A qualitative impact assessment

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Abstract

? 2015, The Author(s).Nature conservation organisations increasingly turn to new digital technologies to help deliver conservation objectives. This has led to collaborative forms of working with academia to spearhead digital innovation. Through in-depth interviews with three UK research-council-funded case studies, we show that by working with academics conservation organisations can receive positive and negative impacts, some of which cut across their operations. Positive impacts include new ways of engaging with audiences, improved data workflows, financial benefits, capacity building and the necessary digital infrastructure to help them influence policy. Negative impacts include the time and resources required to learn new skills and sustain new technologies, managing different organisational objectives and shifts in working practices as a result of the new technologies. Most importantly, collaboration with academics was shown to bring the opportunity of a profound change in perspectives on technologies with benefits to the partner organisations and individuals therein.

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Galán-Díaz, C., Edwards, P., Nelson, J. D., & van der Wal, R. (2015). Digital innovation through partnership between nature conservation organisations and academia: A qualitative impact assessment. Ambio, 44, 538–549. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-015-0704-2

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