December 2016 Download this article as a PDF

From the Editor-in-Chief

Welcome to the December 2016 issue of the Technology Innovation Management Review. In this issue, we revisit the theme of Smart Cities and Regions, and it is my pleasure to welcome back our three guest editors: Taina Tukiainen, Senior Researcher at Aalto University in Espoo, Finland, Seppo Leminen, Principal Lecturer at the Laurea University of Applied Sciences and Adjunct Professor in the School of Business at Aalto University in Finland, and Mika Westerlund, Associate Professor at Carleton University's Sprott School of Business in Ottawa, Canada.

In January and February, we will explore the popular theme of Living Labs in collaboration with the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL).

We hope you enjoy this issue of the TIM Review and will share your comments online. We welcome your submissions of articles on technology entrepreneurship, innovation management, and other topics relevant to launching and growing technology companies and solving practical problems in emerging domains. Please contact us with potential article topics and submissions.

Chris McPhee

From the Guest Editors

We are pleased to introduce the second thematic issue on Smart Cities and Regions in the TIM Review. This issue focuses on explaining how regions and cities are getting smart, and we acknowledge Dameri (2013), who defines a smart city as:

“a well-defined geographical area, in which high technologies such as ICT, logistic, energy production, and so on, cooperate to create benefits for citizens in terms of well-being, inclusion and participation, environmental quality, intelligent development; it is governed by a well-defined pool of subjects, able to state the rules and policy for the city government and development.”

The discussion on smart cities and regions is expanding rapidly, and more and more practitioners and researchers are involved in the debate (Leminen & Westerlund, 2015; McPhee et al., 2015; Tukiainen et al., 2015). We hope that this special issue will further the debate on this topic, and we propose that future research should emphasize the intersection of smart cities and living labs, because these bodies of literature discuss some of the same thematic areas, particularly through living labs facilitated in a city context for the improvement of the daily lives of citizens (e.g., Leminen et al., 2012).

This issue of the TIM Review contributes five theoretically and practically oriented articles for researchers, managers, and innovation developers wishing to benefit from the emerging opportunities in the smart city domain. The selected articles incorporate smart city activities, particularly addressing work on regional innovation ecosystems taking place today in Europe and introducing frameworks and approaches to be used for business creation, opportunities and challenges in collaboration in smart cities, as well as best practices and contributions to smarter regions. In this vein, the issue continues the discussion initiated in the October 2015 issue of the TIM Review.

The first article, by Jukka Viitanen, CEO and Managing Partner of Resolute HQ Inc., discusses the differences in regions and raises the question of how sub-optimal innovation ecosystems can become more similar to fore-runners. He takes the global best practice perspective to developing innovation hubs, and offers a novel, holistic regional innovation hub framework to manage such ecosystems. The framework combines public and private sector interests for joint innovation activities, and is tested and validated through a case study of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

The second article, by Karlos Artto, Riikka Kyrö, Antti Peltokorpi, and Kristiina Sandqvist from Aalto University and Tuomas Ahola from Tampere University of Technology in Finland, introduces the Cuckoo´s Nest approach, which highlights the need for integrating expert organizations to design systems and assigning organizations’ design rights. The approach proposes that, in contrast to many development actions, the needs of the ecosystem come first and the goals and design features of single organizations follow on from the ecosystem’s goals. The authors illustrate the approach using the outcomes of two workshops in the metropolitan area of Helsinki, Finland.

In the third article, Jukka Ojasalo and Lassi Tähtinen from Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Finland seek to increase knowledge of how to integrate open innovation platforms into public sector decision-making processes. They create and discuss an open innovation platform model for public sector decision making in a city based on a qualitative. explorative study. In particular, the study addressed different types of relationships in the platform. Ultimately, the model has several practical implications as it can be used as the starting point for collaborative innovation in cities and to show ways of breaking silos in the conventional bureaucratic model.

The fourth article, by Jukka Ojasalo and Heini Kauppinen from Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Finland, aims to increase understanding of the opportunities and challenges of collaborative innovation between a city and various external actors, such as companies, research institutions, and citizens. The authors discuss multiple types of opportunities and challenges for collaborative innovations in a city. The study concludes by offering research and policy recommendations to city governments and proposed future avenues for research on collaborative innovation in cities.

In the fifth article, Hanne Melin and Samuel Laurinkari from eBay along with Taina Tukiainen from Aalto University, Finland, ask: "How can online platforms contribute to smarter and more prosperous regions in Europe?” The authors discuss the costs of distance as a key issue in commerce in Europe and abroad, and they argue that the decentralized nature of digital commerce helps to foster economic growth and entrepreneurial activity. They also describe new emerging economic hotspots and propose a shift from regional variation towards regional integration.

We hope that the diverse perspectives offered in these articles will help scholars and managers to better understand the multifaceted phenomena of smart cities and regions, and will encourage them to help develop and discuss the concepts further.

Taina Tukiainen, Seppo Leminen, and Mika Westerlund
Guest Editors



Dameri, R. P. 2013. Searching for Smart City Definition: A Comprehensive Proposal. International Journal of Computers & Technology, 11(5): 2544–2551.

Leminen, S., & Westerlund, M. 2015. Cities as Labs: Towards Collaborative Innovation in Cities. In P. Lappalainen, M. Markkula, & H. Kune (Eds.), Orchestrating Regional Innovation Ecosystems: Espoo Innovation Garden: 167–175. Espoo, Finland: Otavan Kirjapaino Oy.

Leminen, S., Westerlund, M., & Nyström, A.-G. 2012. Living Labs as Open-Innovation Networks. Technology Innovation Management Review, 2(9): 6–11.

McPhee, C., Tukiainen, T., Leminen, S., & Westerlund, M. 2015. Editorial: Smart Cities and Regions. Technology Innovation Management Review, 5(10) 3–6.

Tukiainen, T., Leminen, S., & Westerlund, M. 2015. Cities as Collaborative Innovation Platforms. Technology Innovation Management Review, 5(10): 16–23.

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Keywords: collaborative innovation, ecosystems, living labs, online platforms, Open innovation, regional innovation, smart cities, smart regions