Abstract for: Modelling Collaboration to optimise Innovation

Innovation fuels economic growth through ‘creative destruction’ of stagnant companies, rewarding those willing to embrace change. Often requiring a combination of diverse knowledge, structural impediments prevent efficient transfer of knowledge between agents. Past policies of intellectual property protection lead to delays and mistrust while new approaches remain marginally effective. This paper is a first approach by the author to understand, evaluate and improve collaborative performance of agents such as companies and universities. It is shown that a holistic understanding of collaboration should inform market-based policies that promote innovation. It has been found that a collaboration ‘system’ consists of five parameters that can be traced back to fight/flight response circuitry of the human brain. When the model is examined for 1st order feedbacks, the emerging structure balances forces resisting change with those that reinforce it. The parameter ‘Identity’ is found to be critical in driving collaborative success, with the remaining four linked in a ring of 'self-stabilising' feedback. This interpretation of collaborative behaviour delivers a systemic and pragmatic understanding of innovation, replacing what had previously been aspirational and anecdotal. With it, the author constructs policy intended to grow economies by liberating their under-employed capacity.