The word ecosystem means a complex system, resembling that of biological systems, composed of all of the organisms found in a particular physical environment interacting with it and each other. Research has noted that where this is applied to the management of innovation there can be different perspectives such as industrial ecology, business ecosystems, platform management and multi-actor networks. UKGTF’s work straddles each and all of these perspectives but mainly in the context of trying to create win/win symbiotic relationships between network actors and boundaries.
In an ecosystem each actor has different decision principles due to variations in attributes, experiences and beliefs leading to path dependencies and inertia. In economics, some of this inertia is described as market failure. A typical example of inertia or market failure is where investors and content funders fail to provide capital because they have insufficient information to reduce risk. In that example, UKGTF’s UK Games Fund provides non-repayable grants in an attempt to unlock that inertia and thereby improve the ecosystem.
However, rather than simply create an intervention that targets one aspect of market failure, UKGTF is attempting to tackle some of these challenges in a complementary way so that alongside the UK Games Fund there are other measures to support related matters such as IP housekeeping and management, unlocking tacit knowledge in the community for the benefit of all, making introductions across boundaries and addressing talent diversity challenges.
This complementarity means that the economic impacts generated are complex and have many different facets. UKGTF contributes to UK productivity growth through what is known as multi-factor productivity impacts. These are highly challenging to measure empirically so the best way of demonstrating impact is often via narratives such as case studies.