Sustainable, Smart and Inclusive Growth within Entrepreneurial and Innovation Knowledge-Driven Ecosystems

Submission Deadline Extended: 31st December 2023

Joint Special Issue:

Journal of the Knowledge Economy (JKEC)

Journal of Technology Transfer (JOTT)

Journal of Knowledge Management (JKM)

Sustainable, Smart and Inclusive Growth within Entrepreneurial and Innovation Knowledge-Driven Ecosystems

This is a joint special issue involving three journals – JKEC, JOTT and JKM that aims to weave macro, meso and micro-level respectively approaches, perspectives and grounded theories on the phenomenon, nature and dynamics of growth under current socio-economic, socio-political and socio-technical conditions, challenges and opportunities for economies and societies in the contemporary knowledge-driven economy. In addition, we aim to examine whether, when, how and why human knowledge, creativity and inventiveness, as well as entrepreneurial and innovative endeavours in an ecosystemic context, can make a substantive difference.

In particular, this is novel in its nature initiative (a three-way journal collaboration for a Special Issue) will strengthen our interdisciplinary understanding of how knowledge-based entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems can be harnessed to support sustainable, smart and inclusive growth that focuses on societal grand challenges as well as addressing the needs and demands of different industry sectors. This issue is to be addressed through the core mission themes of the three journals, dynamic of knowledge economies (macro level), technology transfer (meso level), and knowledge management (micro level).



Covid-19 has brought into sharp policy and societal focus the grand challenges that society faces concerning such issues as climate change, poverty, access to basic resources, technology and public infrastructure. It has also affirmed further the value of science, investments in public research and development (R&D) and the importance of technology and knowledge transfer for the development of society and to support industry growth. The pandemic also has challenged core assumptions and this has led to wider policy and civic society debates about the future of how government, industry, higher educational institutional collaborate to address societal grand challenges in tandem with ensuring that future growth is inclusive and sustainable – economically societally and environmentally.

The burgeoning growth of research on entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems offers an appropriate framing to further advance our understanding of how these ecosystems can be used to support sustainable, smart and inclusive growth at the macro, meso and micro levels. Such a focus naturally lends itself to tackling macro level issues, particularly from a policy perspective. At the meso level, it is how do firms, higher educational institutions, public research organisations, private firms support technology transfer that meets their specific needs while balancing broader societal and public good needs. At the micro level, what are the knowledge management strategies, tools, processes, actors and activities that support this triple agenda of sustainable, smart and inclusive growth.

Furthermore, consideration should be given to the Theories, Policies, Practices and Politics (TP3) of Smart Choices for Smart Growth (SC4SG) and rely on the Quadruple and Quintuple Innovation Helix to highlight the design thinking approach in the formulation and implementation of related TP3. Moreover, consideration should also be given to the transition via digital transformation from Industry 4.0 to Industry and Society 5.0 regimes and standards (from a techno-centric towards more of a human-centric approach) to address small, sustainable and inclusive growth.


Special Issue Focus and Indicative Areas of Research

The body of knowledge on the different aspects of technology transfer provides a rich and diverse empirical basis to address this issue of how does this activity support sustainable, smart and inclusive growth for industry and society. For example, research on public sector entrepreneurship has identified the value of public R&D. As universities embrace the third mission to become entrepreneurial universities this has seen significant growth in technology transfer offices and other institutional structures and supports to encourage academic entrepreneurship. This has increased the levels of university-industry technology transfer as measured by patents, spin-outs firms etc. This is also reflected at the micro level among university-based scientists particularly in the principal investigator role in seeking to create multiple impacts from their publicly funded research. Public R&D that is funded through universities and public research organisations can also have a purely public good focus, but for this to be realised effectively it requires effective and efficient technology transfer processes, along with absorptive capacity among stakeholders. Moreover, many universities are embracing sustainable development goals across their core missions. To support this and wider university industry technology transfer some governments have put in place a range of policy instruments to support the commercialisation of research to realise economic and societal impacts.

Against this background and more recently the role of universities involvement and participation in entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems has been acknowledged as significant. Universities and their capacity to transfer technology, respond to government priorities mean that are now viewed as anchor institutions within entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems. How universities at strategic and operational levels engage with the element of entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems matters and are of importance the shaping of the future directions that society and industry take concerning sustainable, smart and inclusive growth. Such strategic and operational actions contribute to the capacity of society to address collective grand challenges. It also contributes to how industry accesses and utilises proprietary technology for their value creation as well as for the benefit of society.

Specifically, we call for contributions on various topics, related technology transfer, knowledge management, the dynamic of the knowledge economy, sustainable sustainability, growth, entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems

We welcome conceptual and empirical studies based on a wide variety of methods that address the topics as the indicative themes outlined below. We particularly welcome cross country empirical studies and encourage novel and innovative methods.


Illustrative examples of the topic call

We have provided an indicative illustrative example of topics for each of the journals in this special issue, but potential contributions are not limited to these research topics.


Journal of the Knowledge Economy

  • Creative Knowledge Economy and Society
  • Social, Sustainable and Frugal Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystems
  • Research and Innovation Smart Specialization Strategies
  • Trans-National Public-Private Partnerships for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • The university in the national innovation ecosystem
  • Regional and sectoral innovation networks: influence on entrepreneurial activity and success
  • Revisiting Bayh-Dole: impact on academic culture and industrial competitiveness
  • Comparing costs and benefits of university technology transfer
  • Measuring social impact and social benefits of technology transfer
  • New methods and analytical tools for technology transfer evaluation
  • University – government and/or university-industry collaboration
  • Large firm/small firm dynamics in academic technology development and diffusion


Journal of Technology Transfer

  • Digital Transformation and Design Thinking, from Industry 4.0 to Industry and Society 5.0
  • Digital Quadruple and Quintuple Innovation Helix Ecosystems
  • MCDA methods for next-generation technology transfer strategies, policies and practices
  • Technology transfer and entrepreneurship and innovation systems in a knowledge-based economy
  • Technology transfer strategies, policies and practices that support inclusive knowledge-driven, entrepreneurial and innovation-based growth
  • Role of university-based technology transfer offices in brokering technology transfer and knowledge exchange among entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem actors to realise sustainable and inclusive growth
  • Technology transfer, technology convergence and disruptive innovation and business models in a knowledge economy
  • Metrics for Evaluating University Technology Transfer Performance and knowledge-driven performances
  • Regional and Sectoral Innovation Networks as knowledge engines for regional development


Journal of Knowledge Management

  • Tangible and Intangible Knowledge Exchanges
  • Intellectual Property Management In Start-up Companies and Universities
  • Intellectual Property Strategies and Knowledge Driven Ecosystems
  • Formal and Informal Knowledge Flows
  • Human and Intellectual Capital and Growth
  • Technological Forecasting and Ecosystem Creation and Development
  • Knowledge Infrastructures and Growth
  • Sustainable Growth, Firm Culture and Ecosystems
  • Knowledge Management Performance Metrics and Sustainable Growth
  • Decision Making and Knowledge Driven Ecosystems
  • Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Knowledge Management
  • Innovation Ecosystems and Knowledge Management
  • Non-Market Factors and Knowledge Driven Ecosystem
  • Knowledge Hiding
  • Talent Management
  • Management Innovation



Submission date for all journals 31st December 2023

Publication target: Late 2023


Author Guidelines, Submission and Review Process

Three different teams of Guest Editors will coordinate this call for the Journal of Technology Transfer, Journal of Knowledge Management and the Journal of the Knowledge Economy. Submitted papers which will be considered out of scope fit for one journal, but possibly appropriate for one of the other two, maybe readdressed by the Guest Editors. Papers submitted to one specific call for papers cannot be submitted to the other two. Manuscripts for the JKEC, JOTT and JKM are subject to at least a double-blind review process. Authors are encouraged to consult the specific journal’s guidelines on formatting, see;


Submission should be made via the online submission system and please only submit to one of the journals.

Please email ALL THREE Lead Guest Editors with any questions.

All submissions will be reviewed by the special issue guest editors and by the respective journal Editor-in-Chief (Professor Carayannis for JKEC, Professor Cunningham for JOTT and Professor Del Giudice for JKM) and be evaluated as to the match and fit with the topic of this special issue and with the general aims and scope of JKEC, JOTT AND JKM.


Journal of Technology Transfer (JOTT)

Prof. Manlio Del Giudice (Lead Guest Editor)
Link Campus University Rome, Italy
[email protected]

Prof. Elias G. Carayannis (Lead Guest Co-Editor)
[email protected]


Prof. Evangelos Grigoroudis
Technical University of Crete
[email protected]

Prof. Maribel Guerrero
Northumbria University, United Kingdom
[email protected] (TBC)

Prof. Marco Romano
University of Catania, Italy


Journal of Knowledge Management (JKM)

Prof. James A. Cunningham, (Lead Guest Editor)
Newcastle University, United Kingdom
[email protected]

Prof. Elias G. Carayannis (Lead Guest Co-Editor)
[email protected]

Dr Kristel Miller
University of Ulster, Northern Ireland

Dr Conor O‘Kane
Otago University, New Zealand

Prof. Christina Theodoraki
Toulouse Business School, France

Prof. Joao Ferreira
University of Beira Interior
[email protected]


Journal of Knowledge Economy (JKEC)

Prof. Domitilla Magni (Lead Guest Editor)
University of Rome 3, Italy
[email protected]

Prof. Evangelos Grigoroudis (Lead Guest Co-Editor)
Technical University of Crete
[email protected]

Prof. Manlio Del Giudice
Link Campus University Rome, Italy

[email protected]

Prof. James A. Cunningham
Newcastle University, United Kingdom

[email protected]

Prof. Fabio Fiano
Link Campus University, Italy

[email protected]