Service innovation across borders: Challenges and potentials of service innovation collaboration in Upper Austria and South Bohemia
A. Fratrič, M. Schmidthaler, M. Überwimmer, R. Füreder - Service innovation across borders: Challenges and potentials of service innovation collaboration in Upper Austria and South Bohemia - Marketing Science and Inspirations, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2020, pp. 10-16
In an increasingly globalized and competitive environment, it is essential that geographical regions pool available resources and create synergies in service innovation management in order to sustain an innovative edge. Collaborative innovation management entails substantial synergies, especially for connect-ed regions. However, existing potentials of such a cross-border innovation collaboration system have hitherto been exploited only partially. In order to overcome several challenges, two regions, Upper Austria and South Bohemia investigated novel paths of innovation collaboration through the European Union research project SIP-SME aiming at supporting innovation processes mainly in Austrian and Czech SMEs. To this end, qualitative interviews with local innovation experts were conducted in order to assess the current situation with regard to innovation capacities and barriers in the Upper Austrian and South Bohemian region. Based on the data collected during the in-depth interviews, the authors ana-lysed and identified potentials and challenges in the two regions, which affect the cross-border knowledge creation environment. Despite being neighbouring regions with almost non-existent physical borders, significant differences in the current state of the innovation climate in Upper Austria and South Bohemia were determined. The most significant barriers hindering the cross-border innovation collabo-ration activities between the South Bohemian and Upper Austrian regions were identified as the lack of trust and financial resources, language barriers, absence of personnel with skills and experience, the inability to identify suitable cooperation partners, and a low degree of awareness about the benefits of cross-border innovation collaboration. The findings of this paper are relevant for future design and creation of a borderless region and joint policymaking in Austria and the Czech Republic.