Innovation ecosystems stimulate sustainable growth in cities

When we talk about smart cities, the concept involves a set of actors that need to work together. The term “ecosystem” carries an inevitable metaphor with nature, after all, natural ecosystems bring together plants, animals and all the elements that coexist in balance for life to thrive.

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In relation to the ecosystem of innovative entrepreneurship, or innovation, they are created to provide economic and sustainable development. With a social, economic and environmental pillar. And this has everything to do with a smart city, which develops in a sustainable way.

Today we have a limitation in the innovation ecosystem model. There is no ideal size, but they end up being delimited by municipal borders. For example, Florianópolis or Grande Florianópolis? Curitiba or Greater Curitiba? This may explain why São Paulo does not have an ecosystem along the lines of Curitiba or Joinville, simply because there are 660 millions of inhabitants . It’s too big. Perhaps it would take four ecosystems in São Paulo, throughout the city’s areas…

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According to the analysis of the specialist Marcus Rocha, CEO of 2Grow Habitat Innovation and professor of the Smart City Expert specialization course, it is I need businesses to prosper so that people can have quality jobs, in sufficient quantity for the city to develop in a more organized way, so that the environment is preserved, and so on.

This innovation ecosystem seeks to make the local economy grow sustainably, balancing all dimensions, so that the city can also grow, reducing inequalities and distributing wealth.

When we are talking about living labs and innovation ecosystems, we cannot leave aside the issue of the concept’s adaptability. The most famous ecosystem in the world is Silicon Valley in California, which encompasses a gigantic area across the entire San Francisco Bay region. It’s a model that worked there, but adaptation and evolution are needed.

Returning to the case of the Florianópolis ecosystem, this geographic expansion is already being discussed in order not to limit its effects. Professor Rocha always emphasizes that everything starts with a good university, after all, the human material, skills and talents are fundamental in a university center. The creation of a culture of innovation in that place ends up being a consequence of all this movement.

Vale do Pinhão, in Curitiba: example of the use of a living lab – Image : (Pref.Curitiba Disclosure)

That’s what happened to the ecosystem in Curitiba, from the launch of Vale do Pinhão – which reached the Latam Smart City Awards final for the second time, in the Smart Latam category, which recognizes strategic plans that combine projects and initiatives for the consolidation of smart cities. The award will take place in October, in Puebla (Mexico). In the edition of 2017 of the Latin award, Curitiba was awarded the “Saúde Já” application in the Digital Transformation category.

It is worth pointing out that we are not talking about an “egosystem”, a problem that is sometimes common in smaller cities, involved in their routines and problems, that do not think beyond the reach of the immediate community.

To develop the so-called triple helix innovation model, it is necessary to unite the government, the private sector and academia. Typically, we need an innovation habitat, a place for people to go to exchange and build the innovation ecosystem together. This involves structuring agents, who carry out diagnoses and consultancy, as well as entrepreneurs and startups.

The innovative solutions of the living lab in Curitiba, developed with greater emphasis since

  • , with Vale do Pinhão, involve areas such as entrepreneurship, re-urbanization, urban mobility, health, education and the environment.

    In relation to the hybrid model of face-to-face and remote, this varies in places with greater health security. Online solves many things, but innovation is above all a social activity that requires contact. Face-to-face communication is much better than remote.

    Innovation habitats will need to be reoccupied. Anyone who completely abandons physical contact will lose out in these aspects. The human being cannot achieve the same dynamics from a distance, we need to understand our abilities and limitations.

    *Article produced by a columnist exclusively for Canaltech. The text may contain opinions and analyzes that do not necessarily reflect Canaltech’s view on the subject.

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