Introduction In order to foster innovation of medical devices within the healthcare sector, a collaboration project, PUSH, has been initiated including the hospitals managed by the Stockholm County Council. The collaboration aims to capture ideas from employees and turn them into so called “high-practice” products as well as facilitate the possibilities for medical device companies to try out their products in the settings of healthcare. Collaborations for innovation, comparable to the PUSH project, can be found in both Swedish and foreign regions, but some of them fail to survive due to obstacles affecting the progress of each collaboration. Avoiding the same destiny will be a challenge to the PUSH project.
Purpose The purpose is to search for factors affecting organizational collaboration concerning innovation systems for medical device development. The study is focusing on ”high-practice” products within the PUSH project.
Theoretical approach In order to emphasize factors affecting innovation, theories regarding innovation systems, clusters and networks has been studied hence they all concern organizational collaboration.
Method The study’s qualitative approach is based on a semi deductive method. The analysis derives from a deductive outlook consistent with chosen theories, whereas collected data is used inductively to stress and enlarge part of the theoretical framework. Semi structured interviews, earlier research and evaluations constitutes most of the collected data.
Results and analysis Experience from collaborations for innovation shows that some affecting factors can’t be influenced by collaborators, as political decisions and medical device directives. Collaborators can however affect circumstances such as connections and networking, which is significant to manage the innovation process; from idea to commercialization. An explicit focus on commercialization is important to the collaboration project’s surviving opportunities. A central cause why innovation projects don’t last is lack of funding, both for commercializing certain products as well as for retaining and developing existing innovation structures.
Conclusion Collaborating projects should utilize existing structures and complement their networks to involve extensive competency. Decision makers need to decide whether innovation ventures shall be part of the County Council’s assignment. To fulfil the visions of the collaboration project, a policy common to all participants in the forthcoming innovation project needs to be stated, regarding ownership relations, risk sharing, funding and sharing of profits.