Manuel Burneo: Development of a sustainability strategy for an eGovernment Innovation Center

Artikel-Nr.: 978-3-905814-38-5
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Management Summary

In just twenty years, the term eGovernment (electronic government) has become pervasive and several governments have put in place a series of initiatives towards the provision of eGovernment services for citizens and businesses aiming at improving interactions, efficiency and to adapt to societal changes.

Initial studies were quite optimistic regarding the potential and evolution of eGovernment. Models predicted a transformation of governments and evolution towards seamless interaction with citizens. The current situation shows that eGovernment presents great defies, not only technological ones, but also organizational, societal, political or legal.

The situation is Switzerland is quite particular. Despite an excellent telecommunications infrastructure and economic competitiveness, eGovernment benchmarks rank Switzerland well below comparative countries. This is in part due to the federal structure of the political institutions.

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry continue to grow despite the economic turmoil. However, governments lag behind the private sector in terms of electronic sophistication. There is clearly a huge potential for eGovernment improvement.

Several initiatives exist in Switzerland to improve the eGovernment situation. However, these initiatives usually focus on specific subjects instead of following an interdisciplinary approach making progress lengthy.

This master project presents the business model for the sustainability of an eGovernment innovation center. The University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland (HES-SO) and partner institutions have launched an initiative to create an interdisciplinary eGovernment innovation center. In many cases, research projects end when they are starting to be valuable for private firms. To change this situation and aiming at offering a perennial and multidisciplinary collaboration platform, an innovative business model is crucial for assuring financial sustainability beyond the initial two-year phase of the project.

Interesting findings of an empirical study on University-Industry collaboration patterns is presented and analyzed. This constitutes the ground to create the value propositions of the eGovernment innovation center.

The business model is elaborated based on the methodology proposed by Osterwalder & Pigneur, which is the most widely used. The proposal shows an excellent potential for the center and advises on surmount challenges.

The journey to arrive to the business model can provide professional working in the R&D field with valuable knowledge on how to develop innovative business models and how to improve collaboration with academia.

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