Mapping industrial networks as an approach to identify inter-organisational collaborative potential (working paper)

Papers April 18, 2012 5:23 pm

Thinking about how to bring learnings from collaborative innovation networks to the space of collaborative product development, I thought that mapping industrial cluster using social network analysis could help to identify inter-organisational collaborative potential. Below I share an early version of the map  as an example of this approach, the abstract of the paper and a short explanation of the map.


Increased industrial complexity and specialization is pushing organizations to participate more proactively in collaborative networks. These networks enable them to create new products and services requiring a pool of knowledge and capabilities going beyond the traditional organizational boundaries. Consequently, identifying and selecting potential partners to establish collaboration agreements can be a key activity in the new product development process. This paper explores the implications of mapping industrial networks with the purpose of identifying inter-organisational collaborative potential. The analysis is contextualized mapping the Danish Cleantech industry and depict the uses of the visualization and analysis of industrial networks in the selection of co-developing partners.

To conduct this exploratory study of the cleantech cluster a database of 334 Danish cleantech organisations was created applying data mining and parsing information from the repository (an official cleantech industry body). This made possible the extraction of metadata covering aspects such as the industrial sectors (and sub-sectors) where the organisation operates, their “organisational type” (public, academic, private, consulting…), location of the Danish headquarters, main products and solutions, nature of the business (manufacturer, supplier, consulting firm…), etc.

In order to create a relational layer that connected the organisations, their industrial subsector was used as an indirect bridge between them. Each edge (line connecting two nodes) describes the connection between a company and one of its industrial subsectors. The grey nodes are companies while the coloured nodes are industrial subsectors. Each colour represents one of the 7 industrial sectors.

More details of this and the full paper will be posted as soon as a “publishable” version is available. Till then you can contact me directly for more information.

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  • Jesus Mascareno

    Definetely and exciting subject, I did a research on collaborative innovation within the Symbian Foundation and one of the key drivers of collaboration was a linking entity created by the companies to promote it. Have you encountered something similar in the cleantech cluster?… looking forward to read the publishable version… saludos

    • Pedro Parraguez Ruiz

      Thanks for your comment Jesus. Interesting also to hear from your research with Symbian Foundation, is it published somewhere?

      In the cleantech industry there are actually multiple associations building links and promoting collaboration but they are still polishing their models. Some examples are the "Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster" the "Wind Industry Association" and the "Complex Cleantech Solutions Project". If you have more information about the linking entities it would be interesting to compare their different strategies.

      Saludos desde Copenhagen!

  • Jesus Mascareno

    Hi Pedro, sure you can find it in this link:…

    At the time that we wrote the paper the information that was available pointed that networks relied on a company leader or leaders to promote interactions and innovation´s path. In the reference list you will find interesting sources… I personally believe that studies in entities like the Symbian Foundation, the Open Handset Alliance (Android) or the LiMo Foundation need to be undertaken since we don´t have much information in how networks are coordinating innovation.


  • Ignacio Correa

    estimado Pedro, slds desde Chile
    qué software usaste para el mapa de relaciones?

    muchas gracias desde ya,
    Ignacio C.

  • Ignacio Correa

    Muchas gracias!

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