How do and can virtual communities support and encourage regional development?
Researchers from LSE have been awarded €1.5m as part of a €9.1m project from the European Commission to lead an interdisciplinary research project into the philosophies behind digital ecosystems.
Digital ecosystems are internet-based software environments and networks in which many different kinds of applications (such as B2B) can be developed and shared. They are rapidly emerging as a new open source 'digital commons' approach to support and encourage sustainable regional development by small and medium size enterprises.
Called the Open Philosophies for Associative Autopoietic Digital Ecosystems (OPAALS) the project will explore the collaborative processes that underpin the continuous creation, formalisation and sharing of knowledge in these ICT (Information and Communication Technology) driven and supported communities.
The OPAALS project is coordinated by LSE with 14 business and higher education partner institutions from across the EU, Brazil, Rwanda and India.
This four year project aims to build an interdisciplinary research community in this emerging area. It also aims to develop an integrated theoretical foundation for research into digital ecosystems to span three disciplinary domains: social science, computer science and natural science.
Dr Paolo Dini, a senior research fellow in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE, will be coordinating the project together with Professor Robin Mansell, head of the same department.
Dr Paolo Dini said: 'In order to achieve sustainable digital business ecosystems of SMEs and software components we need to understand in depth the collaborative processes and ICTs that underpin these ecosystems. The aim is for this to evolve into an Open Knowledge community of research and innovation to encompass academic institutions and SMEs.'
More information at http://www.digital-ecosystems.org/cluster/opaals/opaals.html
posted 27 September 2006