From spheres towards spaces in design and creative technology
Knowledge and creativity have always played a key role in the economy and New Zealand is rapidly moving towards a knowledge-based strategy for growth. Increasing prominence has been given to the role of New Zealand’s universities in stimulating economic growth through industry related research, technology commercialisation, high-tech spin-offs, and nurturing entrepreneurial mindsets. Universities are notoriously difficult to change; however the society and culture in which they operate are adapting and accommodate change at a faster pace. Universities in New Zealand have made efforts to see social, government and corporate relationships evolve, however, there are still issues to be addressed and difficulties to be overcome with respect to orthodox disciplines and procedures that need to evolve within the university to facilitate the transition. This paper draws on existing literature related to tri-lateral networks and hybrid organisations to inform the development of a new initiative focused on developing a research system that cuts across both organisational and disciplinary boundaries. The new initiative brings together business, government, researchers, students, and the wider community from the South Auckland region. The initiative is intentionally adaptive, fluid and transient in order to accommodate multiple models of co-evolution of knowledge. The paper sheds new light on the evolving role of university and outlines a future direction for the initiative and a range of measures that can be used to evaluate its successes by presented the initial stages of a longitudinal case study of an emerging initiative. It frames a computational agent-based simulation where alternative architectures can be benchmarked in their capacity to promote entrepreneurial activity.