Managing Innovation Ecosystems around Big Science Organizations

Jason Li-Ying*, Wolfgang Sofka, Philipp Tuertscher

*Corresponding author for this work

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BSOs are large research organizations established purposefully to address fundamental and complex scientific research challenges that cannot be addressed in isolation by individual universities, research institutes, or even government agencies. Unlike universities and other national research institutes, BSOs are unique scientific organizations by virtue of their sheer size, level of complexity, and uncertainty with respect to the outcomes of research and development. BSOs involve large networks of suppliers and collaborators in science, government, and business, constituting a complex system with permeable boundaries that offer opportunities for technology transfer, knowledge accumulation, and business creation. Hence, BSOs are influential players within complex systems of innovation, learning, and business creation. Despite their important role for national and international economies as well as society at large, our current understanding of their management and impact is underdeveloped in both theory and practice. We know less about the challenges and opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in a context of changing economic, technological, and societal environments that arise in the broader ecosystem surrounding BSOs.

To address this void of research, we made this special issue to focus on innovation and entrepreneurship around BSOs to create a richer foundation for future conceptual and empirical research on science management and innovation. The work included in this special issue offers some new insights regarding innovation and entrepreneurship in the context of BSOs. To embed these individual findings into existing research, we provide a comprehensive overview regarding innovation involving BSOs capturing the full picture of the fundamental issues in this regard. Thus, this introduction of the special issue offers an overview on the innovation ecosystem around BSOs as a common reference point for the fundamental mechanisms of innovation in relation to BSOs and relevant stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102523
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Published online: 31 March 2022.


  • Big science
  • Innovation ecosystems
  • Entrepreneurship

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