Thinking about Technology Clusters

How Open Innovation and Smart Networks could help drive Smart Clusters, and increase innovation.

I HAVE BEEN THINKING a lot lately about Smart Cities, Smart Clusters, Smart Shopping, Context Aware Computing, Smart Cars, Smart Health Care and future state industrial and sociological patterns.

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Tech City, an innovation and smart technology cluster in Shoreditch in East London (aka Silicon Roundabout) recently launched the Tech City Map. This led me to thinking about Open Innovation and Smart Innovation Networks.

Smart Cluster

The Smart Cluster

Tech City Map

Tech City Map

Smart Clusters, Open Innovation and Big Society

If Smart Clusters (building on the vision of Tech City) could be manifested, how could Open Innovation and the construction and analysis of Social Networks yield better collaboration, higher success rates for investors and the creation of additional routes to market?

Combining the potential of a Smart Cluster, Open Innovation, the Big Society agenda and a ‘joint’ view of corporate social responsibility and sustainability in the geographical region of the physical cluster could yield more ‘joined up’ and positive societal outcomes.

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Together for Society

Social Networks are not always Smart Networks, it is interesting to think to what extent therefore is there opportunity for network intelligence, the ability to prune, grow and discover ‘nodes’ of interest for connection (as eluded to in Tech City Map).

Could it all be linked together using Smart Clusters as a pattern to co-ordinate Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) across companies in the cluster to help drive localism, civic pride, regional development and the delivery of meaningful outcomes in the Big Society Agenda?

Going to the extreme, could an umbrella ‘not for profit’ organisation sit over the cluster co-ordinating CSR and localism from the constituent parts below? This could be created as a social venture, with seed funding from the Big Society Bank.

Further Reading on Smart Cities

By Steve Nimmons

Steve is a Certified European Engineer, Chartered Engineer, Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Royal Society of Arts, Linnean Society and Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He is an Electric Circle Patron of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, a Liveryman and Freeman of London and serves on numerous industry panels. He is a member of Chatham House, the Royal United Services Institute and the Chartered Institute of Journalists.