The concept of innovation network (IN) is a well-established one that has been the object of an extensive canon of literature. Our subject in this paper is a particular kind of innovation network, as yet relatively unknown but that is developing against the background of economies dominated by service industries; we term them public-private innovation networks in services (ServPPINs). Such networks involve collaborations between public and private service organizations in the field of innovation. They differ from traditional INs in several ways. Firstly, service providers are the main actors in the networks. Secondly, the relationships between the public and private actors lie at the heart of the analysis. Finally, non-technological innovation, which is often overlooked in the literature, is taken into account. This paper has a twofold purpose: first, to examine the way in which the characteristics of ServPPINs can help to modify and enhance the traditional concept of IN, and, second, to draw any possible lessons there might be for public policy. It is based on both a literature survey and analysis of a database of ServPPINs case studies compiled over the course of the ServPPIN (Public Private Innovation Networks in Services) European project.
- public-private partnerships