Networks have always been used in any context. Politicians and careerists build their personal networks of power, students cultivate their Facebook network, and entrepreneurs build networks to find investors and customers as well as employees. In the last 20 years, formally structured and administered networks, cluster organizations, and the like have been established for many contexts. Regional developers and network administrators are proud of having the largest number of registered network participants and clicks on their internet platform. However, what ultimately counts are the real business contacts that lead to additional sales, sustainable supplier-relationships, or to innovation projects leading to sustainable competitive advantages for companies and regions. This still occurs through adhoc networks, i.e. networks that are informal and arise ad-hoc.
The final report “The KARIM innovation map & the network typology” by HTW Chur is now available. The report aims to provide information on inno¬vation support schemes applied by different agencies in various regions of North West Europe. All information, such as regarding perceived success factors and important key actors for the innovation activities, is collect¬ed from the perspective of the interviewed company and presented in the form of case studies and good practice. The report capitalizes on a collection of in-depth interviews conducted by KARIM project team. It offers a typology of networks illustrated with several case studies. Following this approach, the report offers the possibil¬ity to look more deeply into a limited number of cases and outline specific innovation sto¬ries and how they happened from the very first idea to the market entry. That philosophy opens the view to the mechanisms and work¬ing principles of innovation support from the perspective of the firm and not from the view of the innovation support agencies.