New Developments of Organizational Cybernetics
Leonid Ototsky, SIM Chair of the MIPT (
1. Innovation is receiving much attention today. Two main reasons for this are current developments in ICTs and market demand for more flexible and ingenious products. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) sees three issues that are high on the science and innovation policy agendas: -promotion of stronger relationships between science and innovation systems, including the changing role of intellectual property rights in stimulating knowledge creation and diffusion;
ensuring sustained development of human resources in science and technology;
-global-scale issues that call for enhanced international cooperation in
science and technology. ( http://www.oecd.org/document/0,2340,en_2649_34487_25998799_1_1_1_1,00.html ) Along the lines
of Richard Nelson’s work, the OECD proposed in the 1997 the concept of a
National Innovation System (NIS) (Nelson 1993- http://ideas.repec.org/e/pne56.html ). It proposed the
development of networks, information flows, technological change and
globalization, suggesting that governments should shift their attention from
addressing market failure in terms of innovation, to addressing system
failure. In systemic terms Stafford
Beer’s VSM includes the innovation activity at the System 4 level and
provides a solid foundation for the viability of business systems as well as of
National Innovation System (NIS). Sean Devine from the Victoria Management
School, New Zealand, has developed a proposal to discuss a
The MIPT is carrying out similar work in
the variety that is required in the
activities are necessary for double loop learning: i.e. for a learning which
goes beyond simply responding to events, but which sets the system’s
future. Since our focus is the State recursive level, the
3. We differentiate the
‘external’ and the ‘internal’ sides of the innovation
activity. The first is about using modern ICTs to
coordinate the activities of many innovation units with investors and regional
government institutions. For this we are using ideas similar to those of the CyberSyn project. Initially we call this an
“Innovations Barometer”. The “internal” side is much
more complex. It is about creating an electronic databases to handle the
content and “ontologies” of the different
steps of the “Innovation lifecycle” (fundamental science, R&D,
inventions, promotion). For this it is necessary a good deal of work  and so
far it is not included in our
4. The initiators of the
project were members of a group interested in promoting Stafford Beer’s
ideas, including from the Institute for Applied Mathematics (
http://www.keldysh.ru/Eng/ipme_frame.htm ) and from the
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology - http://phystech.edu ) . The first step of the
project was creating a conceptual and technical model of an Operations Room to
monitor innovation activities in the Moscow Region. This was seen as a
prototype for a future Russian NIS. In the
5. Under the project the following work is in progress: -a system to gather official statistics about innovation activities in regions of Russia and beyond ; -a system to gather statistics about innovation activities in different topic in the region;-a system to filter and analyze the statistics;-the “barometer of innovations” portal for Russia ;-etc. See Appendix 1 for the details.
6. The main problem to gather “internal” information from the innovation units was to interest them to give primary information about their activities, which is less structured than that of manufacturing enterprises. Additionally, checking data credibility for innovation is more complex than for manufacturing. We expect that the VSM and our Operations Room will help to solve these problems too.
The scheme of the Center is presented in the picture 1.
Pic. 1. The Scheme of the
· Information gathering block (green);
· Information storage block (gray);
· Modelling block (yellow);
· Information analysis block (blue);
· Presentation block (red).
· Official statistics – The official statistics was used as a guide line. It’s not full and correct enough (especially at the regional level) but it is one view of the situation we can use.
· Information gathering system – We developed our own survey to get information about local innovation oriented companies. It is based on standard European surveys of innovations but simpler and web-oriented.
· Innovations Barometer – is a web-portal. It is used for two different functions. On the one hand it’s the part of the information gathering system, and on the other hand the Barometer is the place of public presentations of the innovation activities in the region. The problem is that we should interest the private companies in shearing their information. We use the Barometer as an advertising space to publish their achievements in exchange for some information. Furthermore the Barometer has an internet searching machine for press data mining. It makes news digest and reveal public tendencies.
Data storage system is the simple database oriented for work with weak formalized information. So we used mostly meta-entities in database model and the evolutionary developing database structure.
· Models Bank of Innovation Activities – is the collection of mathematical models of innovation activities in different levels and fields integrated in one system based on Mathlab to make forecast. We came across that there is no unified field – innovations science. All existed models and approaches are very different to use them right now.
Economics Model – we cooperated with the
· Expertise system – the instrument for a forecasting. It divides the problem in several sub problems, sends them to the experts, gathers responses and combines them into one forecast.
· Information analytical processing system – is based on OLAP-system used to analyze the information from the Data Storage System. It has the functional input of the modeling and expertise results.
· Geoinformation system – is used to solve spatial tasks such as revealing innovative clusters, etc.
The main purpose of the Information analysis block and the whole Center is to display the decision makers the main trajectories of the system evolution, the bifurcation points and the abilities and the ways to reach the required situation.