Ports and port cities are at the frontline of three major transitions – energy, digitisation and social - towards a post-industrial society. In their quest to move away towards a zero-emission, zero-waste society, some port cities in the world – including Rotterdam – view the imminent transitions as an opportunity and are explicitly profiling themselves as innovation ecosystems in post-industrial societies. In the current discourse on innovation in port-city ecosystems, the emphasis is very much on start-ups in post-industrial port areas and the conditions to facilitate them, such as governance mechanisms for easy knowledge crossovers. This paper takes a resource-based view and elaborate on an in-depth case study of Rotterdam. It is argued that innovation in port cities consists of visible and invisible symbiosis of capital: natural capital, industrial capital, human capital, cultural capital, social capital and creative capital. An innovation ecosystem does not solely flourish due to its proximity to the port, but also because of the extent to which companies are able to draw resources from this ecosystem, while at the same time sustain and nurture the ecosystem.

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The research paper is co-funded by LDE PortCityFutures
Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship

Jansen, M. (2020). Port innovation ecosystem, a symbiosis of capital. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/129617