3Os ecosystem framework in a nutshell

The 3Os ecosystem framework consists of three layers: business ecosystems, innovation ecosystems and 3Os innovation ecosystem. In addition to the layered structure of the ecosystems, the framework highlights the role of communities, especially in open innovation ecosystems.

Layered structure of the 3Os ecosystem framework:

In Layer 1, the 3Os innovation ecosystem level, innovation emerges from the activities taking place at the interplay between the three different open innovation ecosystems.  

Layer 2 drives innovation through open contribution in each specific domain (OS IE; OH IE; OS IE).  In these three open innovation ecosystems, the key elements are cooperation, knowledge, and resources sharing.  For all these ecosystems, relations focus on innovation and open contribution. At this level, shared resources and knowledge are domain specific, meaning that the different economic and non-economic actors interact around a common vision about the evolution of knowledge in the specific domain of action. It is important to underline that in the OH IEs, players identified as crucial sources of innovation not only economic and non-economic actors specialised in the specific domain, but also economic players specialised in the fields of both OD and OSS.

In Layer 3, the main focus is instead value creation and capture in relation to focal firms defining the evolution of the domain and the relations. Companies within the same open business ecosystem (BE) are often interdependent, and their relationships are characterised by complementarity, modularity, and co-opetition. Specifically, companies aim to complement each other’s offerings to provide holistic solutions to customers. For example, an operating system provider and software application developer in the same ecosystem create value together. Moreover, these ecosystems are often structured in modules. This feature allows companies to specialise in specific components or services, increasing efficiency.  Lastly, companies in the same business ecosystem interact under the principle of co-opetition. In each of these specific domains, collaboration can lead to mutual benefits, and companies might cooperate on standards or infrastructure while competing for market share. At this level an important player is the focal firm. This player is the one adapting the set of relations to deliver the value proposition efficiently and effectively at the core of the BE. 

Role of communities:

Among the different players identified in the three layers of the framework, a central role is played by the communities that have been recognised especially in relation to the open innovation ecosystems. These communities can be composed of developers, enthusiasts, experts, or other stakeholders who share common interests or goals in the development of new ideas. Communities are the bedrock of bottom-up dynamics related to knowledge sharing and resulting in innovation based on informal institutions. As for the former element, communities often foster collaborative innovation by bringing together individuals with diverse skills and perspectives. They contribute to open-source software projects, but also open hardware and open data projects sharing knowledge, information and collectively solving problems. Here, the sustainability of ecosystems depends on the engagement and vitality of these communities, but also on the respect of these informal institutions keeping the communities alive and trustable. When communities are active and engaged, they contribute to the long-term health and growth of the open innovation ecosystem as a whole.