Keywords: knowledge brokers, innovation, SMEs, small and medium–sized enterprises, moderately innovative countries, competences–based approach, Italy, education policy, training policy
Innovation processes in moderately innovative countries: the competencies of knowledge brokers
Successful innovation processes are strongly related to collaborations among actors in the business environment, including small and medium enterprises, local institutions, business associations, liaison offices, and technology transfer offices. Such collaborations are not well guided in moderately developed regions, where actors are not well supported by local institutions, and the level and quality of communication among them is extremely low. The success of collaborative processes is strongly related to the competence level of professionals known in the literature as 'individual knowledge brokers'. In this paper, results from a field research aimed at exploring the types, roles, activities, and competences of knowledge brokers in different brokerage processes in Southern Italy are presented. Results are discussed in order to define guidelines for education and training policy to enhance the coverage and to strengthen the capacity of the knowledge brokers in moderately developed countries.