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February 08, 2012


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Bob Jacobson

This idea is finally gaining currency after decades of confronting and failing to solve pervasive problems that outstrip small-scale efforts to collaborate.

On the other hand, resistance to large-scale collaboration is ubiquitous. I recently experienced a major project -- local, not global -- going down after being torpedoed by an agency that monopolized the domain for too long. And will again.

I refer your readers to the Swedish innovation agency VINNOVA's report from late last year, "White Spaces Innovation for Sweden," a report that champions collaboration of the sort you and I advocate.


The sad closing to the otherwise excellent report, added by the administrators who funded it, acknowledges the quality of the report and its recommendations, but then goes on to apologize for having so little money to invest in large projects because most of the agency's considerable resources had been handed over to small, sectarian projects. The struggle continues.

Evan Rosen

Thank you for your comment, Bob, and for sharing the VINNOVA report. The report also suggests that while the Swedish government is committed to the concept of collaboration, government agencies have difficulty collaborating in practice. One reason, according to the report, is that agencies are organized to be independent rather than interdependent.

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