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Canada Cloud Network – A Triple Helix Design

The central idea is that fundamentally clusters are geographically-centric

The idea behind the Canada Cloud Network has been to identify, review and then utilize a number of Innovation Best Practices to design how (and why) this forum works.

In particular one key goal is to implement a ‘Next Generation Cluster‘, a thought leadership piece from Cisco on how the original cluster model from Michael Porter can be upgraded through new Cloud 2.0 technologies. Naturally Cisco suggest their own but the model recommendations aren’t tied to them, so it’s actually a very smart piece.

The central idea is that fundamentally clusters are geographically-centric, like Waterloo in Canada growing around RIM, or the Oceans Technology focus in Newfoundland. A lot of this is obviously tied to the level of Government funding it – The Newfoundland Provincial Govt in the case of this latter example.

Cisco propose that through the use of social collaboration technologies you can enhance the principle another level, with the fundamental shift being an expansion to a virtual community-centric approach, rather than a geographic organizing dynamic.


[Illustration from Wikipedia]

This is especially so with a ‘Triple Helix‘ ambition for the design, a much improved collaboration between industry, academia and government, the magic formula for sustainable start-up innovation.

I.e. Money, brains and politics! :-)

Cisco makes a pretty compelling argument that if you are looking to improve greater connectivity between key ‘knowledge-centric’ groups then social media is a logical platform.

Even using simple tools like our Linkedin group helps achieve their goal of ‘borderless innovation’ – Any one is welcome to join the forum at a level it is easiest to do so, via online chat type modes which also performs the other core value of networking that these industry groups are ideal for.

Of course with further budget and these types of products you can then build on this principle to the nth degree.



For example Cisco suggests ideas like “Virtual Tuesdays”, an online equivalent of the dot com networking meet-ups using TelePresence equipment.

Or the “Startup Stop and Shop”, a web space where video recordings of all entrepreneurs pitches are made available so that “Virtual Guardian Angel” investors can browse them and connect with entrepreneurs they want to fund.

Given all the buzz now firing up in 2012 about “Crowdfunding”, not a bad set of ideas huh, and absolutely right, if you’re targeting increased involvement from the young 20-somethings at Universities then what better set of aids.

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