This paper deals generally with the creation, structuring and behavior of innovation ecosystems, i.e. a network of diverse actors, including emerging young firms, as well as established medium-size and large enterprises, NGOs, and government. More specifically, the paper explores these basic issues using the example of smart grid development, which is now taking place in the cleantech/renewable energy field. To examine and compare smart grid innovation ecosystems being assembled by GE, IBM and Cisco Systems, our study assembles data on ecosystem membership, provides metrics on key parameters, and generates “maps” of these smart grid innovation ecosystems. These ecosystems are also analyzed and compared using social networking analysis, focusing in particular on the parameters of diversity, centrality (degree, betweenness and closeness) and density. Generally, our results show that innovation ecosystem strategies constitute a key approach for entering and innovating in the smart grid arena.
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