The principles of innovation ecosystems

– A successful ecosystem is a community where all individuals and parties interact with each other and build a common story in order to serve a common scope. Innovation Ecosystems are the community where innovation is jointly created, with respect to all members of the ecosystem.

Sustainable value creation is key to the success of an ecosystem: for the consumers, or we prefer to call them citizens, but also for every other actor involved in the process of the ecosystem.

A bigger purpose, a common goal, trust, and openness are key in order to function smoothly. The system should, due to a common set of agreed rules, function as a natural ecosystem, where the purpose is mutually agreed upon by all members and serves as the common goal during the lifecycle of the ecosystem.

Why the mobility thematic?

Mobility is about citizens.

Basically every single human being on the planet “consumes” mobility. People have moved around throughout the history of mankind and will continue to do so. However, the way we move around evolves and gets more and more sophisticated. Additionally, our specific mobility needs also change with respect to our context and purpose. We might take the train if we go to work, but if we want to visit our friend we might hop on our bike. You would be crazy to drive your bike to Thailand, so how about taking the airplane? The mobility system should have enough capacity for all citizens, and provide alternatives depending on their preferences or needs. And it is this need that is changing dramatically.

The entire goal of our ecosystem is developing citizen-centric solutions. By involving them in several stages of the process, we get a better understanding of what they actually desire. Moreover, by combining the market knowledge of the different actors in our ecosystem, we can develop solid solutions based on facts.

Mobility is changing.

There are some that say that we are about to undergo a new mobility revolution. The last revolution was caused by the sudden and easy access citizens got to personal vehicles in the ’70s. Today, we see that this model of personal ownership for all is flawed and unsustainable. We have too many cars on the road, which end up costing the average Belgian a week’s worth of time stuck in traffic and even yearly costs the life of 2400people due to pollution alone.

It is safe to say that change is necessary. New initiatives are popping up that directly challenge the ways of old. Mobility as a Service (MaaS) offers people countless options to reach a specific location. Shared mobility could help us fully use the capacity of a personal vehicle, as a car typically doesn’t have all of its seats filled. Mobility on-demand implies that citizens have to rely less on their personal car, and use any mode of transportation on the go. These are just some examples of how the playing field is shifting.

An ecosystem dedicated to mobility embraces change and acts as a driver of change itself. The traditional suppliers work closely together with new entrants with the goal of developing novel solutions that use the best of both worlds.

Mobility is fundamentally complex.

Can we even call it an industry? It is such a transversal topic, that no single other industry is untouched by it. At the basis of this complexity lies the enormous amount of actors in this field. We have different public organizations that serve hundreds of thousands of citizens on a daily basis. Because of changing consumer behaviour and urbanization, the public transportation system is put under a large amount of pressure and needs to evolve. This is complexity becomes even more apparent when you look at the regional public transportation suppliers, each operating in a different political and regulatory framework. Furthermore, we see many private companies and initiatives capitalizing greatly on this basic human need. The multi-billion automotive industry is an excellent example, but we also see many new mobility start-ups that use a fresh perspective to meet citizen’s mobility needs. Lastly, we have institutions of knowledge, such as universities and federations, that further deepen our understanding of mobility and how we consume it. They are invaluable actors because they can accurately indicate both bottlenecks and areas of opportunity.

An ecosystem turns the complexity that characterizes mobility into an asset. By assembling the different actors in this field, we co-create holistic and systemic solutions.

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