Innovation intermediaries and collaboration: knowledge–based practices and internal value creation

Muthu De Silva*, Jeremy Howells, Martin Meyer

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper analyses how knowledge-based practices adopted by innovation intermediaries enable them to generate value for themselves when collaborating with their clients. While the literature focuses on value creation for their client organisations, little is known about how innovation intermediaries create internal value even though this is essential for ensuring their long-term survival and sustaining their key facilitating role in the innovation system. This understudied issue is explored using empirical evidence from a sub-set of innovation intermediaries, Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs). The results indicate that by capitalising on existing knowledge vested in employees and collaborators as well as understanding and shaping the knowledge base of the innovation ecosystem, innovation intermediaries generate internal value from their involvement in collaborative innovation, which range from different financial to non-financial types of value. Implications for intermediaries, their collaborators and for policymakers are then discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-87
Number of pages18
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number1
Early online date27 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • European union
  • Innovation intermediaries
  • Knowledge based practices
  • Knowledge capitalization
  • Research and technology organisations
  • Value creation


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