An emerging global knowledge management platform: the case of iBridge

Publication Date24 October 2008
Date24 October 2008
AuthorMartin Grossman
SubjectInformation & knowledge management
An emerging global knowledge
management platform:
the case of iBridge
Martin Grossman
Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, USA
Purpose – This paper seeks to serve as an introduction to a networking platform called iBridge,
recently launched by the administrative office of Zhongguancun Haidian Science Park (HSP) in
Beijing, China. With the goal of enabling knowledge sharing and collaboration between members and
businesses across the world, iBridge has evolved to include features such as communities, blogs,
search, recommendation and content customization. The emergence of iBridge is viewed in the context
of China’s national innovation policy, paying specific attention to the role that collaboration plays as a
means of fostering the exchange of ideas and innovation. The paper also aims to discuss the challenges
involved in adopting this approach.
Design/methodology/approach – The information for this paper was gathered through visits by
the author to HSP in 2006 and 2008, as well as through secondary written and web-based sources.
Findings – The paper finds that, since its inception in 2006, the iBridge platform has incorporated
many new features and increased its membership substantially. It is anticipated that Web 2.0 features,
such as blogs and community forums, will encourage greater levels of innovation as iBridge
membership increases.
Research limitations/implications – No empirical evidence is presented in this paper to support
the claim that iBridge has increased innovation. However, a greater exchange of ideas isexpected, as a
“network effect” takes hold and the platform grows in terms of functionality and usage.
Originality/value – The iBridge platform is still in its infancy, having a very limited member base.
While it has started to gain notoriety in the high-tech community within China, it has still not received
much international attention. With this paper the iBridge platform will be known to a wider audience.
Keywords China, Knowledgemanagement, Worldwide web, Networking,Globalization
Paper type Research paper
Perhaps the most important principle in today’s global and knowledge-based economy
is that innovation is the key to sustained competitiveness (Schilling, 2008). Innovation,
which refers not only to the creation of new ideas, but also to the implementation of
these ideas to develop products and processes, has become a number one priority for
companies, and countries, around the world and a primary area for investment. The
countries of the Organization for Economic Development (OECD), for example, spend
$700 billion annually on research and development (R&D). In the USA, over 16,000
firms operate their own research laboratories while over 20 firms have annual R&D
budgets exceeding $1 billion (Bessant and Tidd, 2008).
While innovation may originat e from such sources as individuals , firms,
universities or non-profit organizations, it more typically evolves from the interplay
between multiple sources in a complex network of linkages. Such networks of
innovators leverage tacit knowledge flows and other resources, and act as critical
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
An emerging
global KM
VINE: The journal of information and
knowledge management systems
Vol. 38 No. 4, 2008
pp. 525-534
qEmerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/03055720810917750

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