Innovation intermediaries and collaboration: knowledge-based practices and internal value creation

Muthu De Silva*, J. Howells, Martin Meyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

199 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


This paper analyses how knowledge-based practices adopted by innovation intermediaries enable them to generate value for themselves when collaborating with their clients. While the literature focuses on value creation for their client organisations, little is known about how innovation intermediaries create internal value even though this is essential for ensuring their long-term survival and sustaining their key facilitating role in the innovation system. This understudied issue is explored using empirical evidence from a sub-set of innovation intermediaries, Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs). The results indicate that by capitalising on existing knowledge vested in employees and collaborators as well as understanding and shaping the knowledge base of the innovation ecosystem, innovation intermediaries generate internal value from their involvement in collaborative innovation, which range from different financial to non-financial types of value. Implications for intermediaries, their collaborators and for policymakers are then discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-87
Number of pages18
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number1
Early online date10 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Authors would like to acknowledge the financial assistance provided by the InnovateUK for this study. We would like to thank the editor, Prof Ben Martin, and three anonymous reviewers for immensely valuable feedback and advice in the preparation of this article. Our gratitude also goes to the Big Innovation Centre for supporting data collection. Also, we express our sincere thank to Dr. Zaheer Khan and Dr.George Chryssochoidis for providing us with extremely valuable gui-dance and insights to improve the paper. We are also thankful for the support of Santander Bank and Kellogg College, University of Oxford.M. De Silva et al. Research Policy 47 (2018) 70–8780


  • Innovation intermediaries
  • Knowledge based practices
  • Value creation
  • European Union
  • Research and Technology Organisations
  • Knowledge capitalization JEL codes - O300
  • L10
  • L14
  • M15
  • D830


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