The direct top-down approach and indirect bottom-up approach are two ends of the spectrum in the role of government in developing an innovation ecosystem. Taking a hybrid approach, we develop the concept of the ecosystem enricher who fertilizes the interactions and linkages of multiple stakeholders in innovation ecosystems. In an in-depth case study of the Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District (SEID), we find that the local government has played an enricher role in directly driving university-industry connections from a mainly top-down approach. Yet many issues remain and more bottom-up policies are needed. We group these issues into three areas: priority setting in university development, university-industry collaborations, and innovation and entrepreneurship intermediaries. Our findings also highlight both the benefits and liabilities in the top-down approach of government policy in driving innovation ecosystems and how a hybrid of the top-down and bottom-up approach is needed.
- Government-led university science park
- Innovation ecosystems
- Regional innovation
- University-industry connections