Is There Any Innovation Ecosystem in Indonesia?

By Mardianto Natanael Wangkanusa  I  30/08/2022  I  01.00 PM


Innovation is not a newly discussed topic in the current societies. Many sectors, either governments or private sectors, are now competing to innovate to fulfill their needs and overcome their issues. Although the word innovation is commonly used, it is often misunderstood as invention. To this, Mariam Webster defines 'innovation' as a new idea, method, or device or the introduction of something new. With the confusion between the words: innovation and invention, Webster refers to the former as something new or a change made to an existing product, idea, or field.

In the era of development, innovation and sustainability are two inseparable elements for societal goals as their link represents environmental, economic, and social dimensions, which Michelino et al. (2019) note as an essential link for the bwfore-mentioned dimensions of development. Considering this, sustainable innovation for development purposes seems to be the main agenda that is promoted in many nations worldwide. Sarkis & Vazquez brust (2010) mention that innovation can be facilitated with collaboration. The question is, however, what goes beyond collaboration in innovation?

Innovation ecosystem (IE) is a rising concept in literature. Among its diverse definitions, IE highlights the collaborations and/or interactions of different actors from various sectors. Mike Millard on the MassChallenge writes that IE is "a term that describes the various players, stakeholders, and start-up accelerators, venture capitalists, private investors, foundations, entrepreneurs, mentors, and the media". In addition to this, Granstrand and Holgersson (2020) note that IE could include an actor system with collaborative and competitive relationships. In order words, moreover, the emphasis on the collaboration among actors from various sectors forms an ecosystem of innovation.

The Quest for Innovation Ecosystem in Indonesia

Many sectors have recently focused on the IE, including Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). With the 5-years project, namely SHARE (Supporting Holistic and Actionable Research in Education), funded by USAID, the University of Notre Dame (UND) collaborates with SMART CITY UI for the Innovation Ecosystem quest in Indonesia. This research project aims to advance global education learning priorities by improving learning outcomes through the ecosystem diagnostic process, research implementation, and the capacity exchanges related to the Higher Education Institutions Generating Holistic and Transformative Solutions (HEIGHTS) multi-country study, to which Indonesia will contribute.

This Project will include comprehensive studies uncovering the existing Innovation Ecosystem formed in Indonesia through literature reviews and interviews involving many actors from different sectors. Besides, the local workshops engaging stakeholders, such as actors from HEIs, governments, private industries, and other stakeholders, will also hold to introduce and further discuss the result of a preliminary study on the existing Innovation Ecosystem in Indonesia. This workshop is expected to give and take insightful perspectives related to the Indonesian Innovation Ecosystem.


Granstrand, O., & Holgersson, M. (2020). Innovation ecosystems: A conceptual review and a new definition. Technovation, 90, 102098.

Michelino, F., Cammarano, A., Celone, A., & Caputo, M. (2019). The linkage between sustainability and innovation performance in IT hardware sector. Sustainability, 11(16), 4275.

Mike Millard (2018). What Is an Innovation Ecosystem and How Are They Essential for Startups?.

Sarkis, J., Cordeiro, J. J., & Vazquez Brust, D. A. (2010). Facilitating sustainable innovation through collaboration. In Facilitating sustainable innovation through collaboration (pp. 1-16). Springer, Dordrecht.


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Is There Any Innovation Ecosystem in Indonesia?

By Mardianto Natanael Wangkunusa