Management summary research study „Cooperation in a minimum-waste innovation ecosystem: a case study of the Czech Hemp Cluster“

Innovation ecosystems face many environmental challenges. Various forms of interaction between members occur in the innovation ecosystems, which determines the level of cooperation. This paper aims to show the structure and forms of cooperation in an innovation ecosystem using the Czech Hemp Cluster (CHC) and its surroundings and suggest research directions in the field of interaction between members in an innovation ecosystem. Although hemp is associated with the production and distribution of narcotics, it is a versatile plant supporting the minimum-waste business strategy. The research is based on a theoretical part of a literature review of major scientific articles on innovation ecosystems from 2016 to 2021. The case study of the CHC and the hemp ecosystem is based on qualitative research in the form of a content analysis of the mission of the cluster members. In addition to content analysis, the classic multidimensional scaling method and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to reveal ecological guilds. Clusters emerge after an ecosystem has existed for a particular time to coordinate collaboration and information between organisations and stakeholders. The analysis of the CHC revealed the specific role of non-profit organisations (NPOs) in the innovation ecosystem. NPOs are not engaged in primary functions in the value chain, but they provide supporting activities through coordinated networking, disseminating information on innovation, awareness-raising and stakeholder education. The CHC case study adds a suitable minimum-waste business model to the still very scarce literature on sustainable innovation ecosystems. Discussion of the ecosystem leader in the cluster-based innovation ecosystem shows the differences between Czech, Polish and German business ecosystems.


Target groups of stakeholders: academic staff

Citation: Špička, J. (2022). Cooperation in a minimum-waste innovation ecosystem: a case study of the Czech Hemp Cluster. International Journal of Emerging Markets.