SCRAN: Assembling a Community of Practice for Standardising the Transformation of eGovernment Services

SCRAN: Assembling a Community of Practice for Standardising the Transformation of eGovernment Services

Mark Deakin (Edinburgh Napier University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0086-7.ch009
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This chapter draws attention to the triple-helix model of knowledge production and the Web-services assembled to support the development of the SmartCities (inter) Regional Academic Network as a community of practice for standardising the transformation of eGovernment services. It draws particular attention to the University-Industry-Government collaborations (triple-helix) underlying the Web 2.0 service-orientated architecture of this knowledge infrastructure and the deployment of such technologies as an enterprise allowing communities to learn about how to standardise eGovernment services as transformative business-to-citizen applications. The chapter serves to highlight the critical role business-to-citizen applications play in making it possible for cities to be smart in reaching beyond the transactional logic of service provision and grasping the potential regional innovation systems offer to democratise the customisation of eGovernment through multi-channel access and via user profiling.
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Figure 1 draws attention to the academic network underpinning the SmartCities venture. In this respect it identifies the network of academic institutions, their city partners and the specific role they in turn take in supporting SCRAN.

Figure 1.

Academic organisation of SmartCity partner(s)


As can be seen, for Edinburgh Napier University the main object of attention is the methodology of this venture and for Mechelen (MEMORI), the object of the exercise is to help the communities of Kortrijk (business and citizens) customise the development of their eGov services provision. In this respect, each academic institution (university) within SCRAN is expected to work alongside industry and government, contributing specific expertise towards the development of their eGov service programmes.

While this draws attention to academic institutions and their city partners, it is the three-way partnership between the Universities, Industry and Government that capture the science and technology around which the ‘triple-helix’ of regional innovation turns.

This chapter’s reading of the triple-helix relies heavily upon the representation of it by Etzkowitz, and Leydesdorff (2002, 2008). Unlike Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff (2002, 2008), however, this chapter’s take on the triple-helix does not rest at the level of institutions, but the CoPs whose expertise represents the a-priori knowledge base for the model, the learning flowing from it and intellectual capital of the participants in question. In this regard Amin and Cohendet’s (2004) reading of such models is useful for the reason it is knowledge-based and founded on an enterprise architecture geared towards the development of learning communities, organised around cities and the intellectual capital of their regional developments. This knowledge-based enterprise goes some way to capture SCRAN’s particular take on the triple-helix and serves as a means of drawing attention to the scientific and technological basis of the strategic research funded by the EC to support the use of ICTs by SmartCities.

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