Thematic Research Groups (TRGs)

Achievements and Outreach: 2015-2016

The first Thematic Research Groups (TRGs) of the Triple Helix Association were established in 2014 to strengthen the Triple Helix research field. Leading scholars and practitioners around the world were appointed as Conveners of the Groups, focusing their efforts on consolidating an area of expertise that has emerged within the Triple Helix community. These TRGs represent open societies with their LinkedIn discussion forums, on-line and off-line interactions towards deepening our knowledge of different aspects of the Triple Helix field, and strengthening the theory and practice.
Collectively, the TRGs have helped to focus research and scholarly activities on measurable concepts and insightful frameworks that enlighten the generic Triple Helix model and advance our interdisciplinary project. TRGs have also mobilised a broader community that brings together theory and practice and generates synergies of university-industry co-creation beyond traditional scholarly work.
The TRGs of the Triple Helix Association are calling for new members that will enrich the portfolio of activities and give a new impetus for advancement of our knowledge and practice in bringing the government, industry, and university on the same level platform as co-creators of our sustainable future.
Congratulations to our TRG conveners for their hard work and wishing them success in the forthcoming year ahead! We hope that the TRG column in the THA Hélice Magazine continues to be populated with new initiatives, calls for papers, and actions.

Thematic Research Group Conveners Website
Entrepreneurial Universities Yuzhuo Cai
Karen Barranon
National Innovation Systems and Models Luiz Marcio Spinoza
University-Industry Partnerships Panayiotis Ketikidis
Juan Bertolin
Knowledge and Technology Transfer Hester Tack


Papers and Publications

  • Borim-de-Souza, R, Balbinot, Z, Takahashi, A W, Munck, L and Travis, E F. (2015) Sustainable development and sustainability as study objects for comparative management theory: proposing styles of reasoning for an unknown metropole. Cross Cultural Management, 22(2), 201-235.
  • Cai, Y. (2015) What contextual factors shape ‘innovation in innovation’? – integration of insights of the Triple Helix and the institutional logics perspective. Social Science Information, 54(3), 299-326. doi: 10.1177/0539018415583527.
  • Cai, Y. (Forthcoming) From an analytical framework for understanding the innovation process in higher education
    to an emerging research field of innovations in higher education. Review of Higher Education.
  • Cai, Y and Liu, C. (2015). The roles of universities in fostering knowledge-intensive clusters in Chinese regional innovation systems. Science and Public Policy, 42(1), 15-29. doi: 10.1093/scipol/scu018.
  • Cai, Y and Yang, X. (2016). Mergers in Chinese higher education: lessons for studies in a global context. European Journal of Higher Education, 6(1), 71-85. doi:10.1080/21568235.2015.1099458
  • Cai, Y, Pinheiro, R, Geschwind, L and Aarrevaara, T. (2016). Towards a novel conceptual framework for understanding
    mergers in higher education. European Journal of Higher Education, 6(1), 7-24. doi:10.1080/21568235.2015.1099457.
  • Cai, Y, Pugh, R and Liu, C. (2015). Enabling conditions for regional Triple Helix systems. Hélice, 2015(4). Retrieved fromélice/volume-4-2015/helice-issue-4/triple-helix-scientific-news/enabling-conditions-for-regional-triple-helix-systems.
  • Cai, Y, Pugh, R and Liu, C. (Forthcoming) A framework for analysing the role of innovation policy in regional innovation system development. International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development.
  • Cai, Y, Zhang, H and Pinheiro, R. (2015). Institutionalization of technology transfer organisations in Chinese universities. European Journal of Higher Education (Online first). doi: 10.1080/21568235.2015.1044548.
  • Carvalho, H G, Cavalcante, M B, Spinosa, Luiz Marcio. SELFINOVA – Metodologia para Elaboração de Planos de Inovação. (SELFINOVA – A methodology to design Innovation Plans). 1. ed. Curitiba: IEL, 2015. v. 1. 352p.
  • Danson, M and Todeva, E. (2016) Government and governance of regional Triple Helix interactions. Industry and Higher Education, 30 (1): 13-26, DOI:10.5367/ihe.2016.0293.
  • Pinheiro, R, Wengenge-Ouma, G, Balbachevsky, E and Cai, Y. 2015. The role of higher education in society and the changing institutionalized features in higher education. In The Palgrave International Handbook of Higher Education Policy and Governance, edited by J Huisman, M Souto-Otero, D D Dill and H de Boer, 225-242. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Reyes, C N. (2016). Framing the entrepreneurial university: the case of the National University of Singapore. Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, 8(2), 134-161. doi:10.1108/JEEE-09-2015-0046.
  • Rowlinson, M, Harvey, C, Kelly, A, Morris, H and Todeva, E. (2015) Accounting for research quality: research audits and the
    journal rankings debate. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 26, February 2015: 2-22. DOI:10.1016/
  • Shumilova, Y and Cai, Y. (2016). Three approaches to competing for global talent: role of higher education. In B Krishna and F Charlotte (Eds), Global Perspectives and Local Challenges Surrounding International Student Mobility (114-135). Hershey, PA, USA: IGI Global.
  • Spinosa, L M, Bollmann, H. (2015) Sustainability assessment of urban innovation ecosystems – the case of Curitiba. Working Paper. Post-graduation Program on Urban Management. Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, Brazil, 38 pp.
  • Spinosa, L M and Bollmann, H. (2015) Urban innovation ecosystems and sustainable development – a broader approach for sustainability assessment. Working Paper. Post-graduation Program on Urban Management. Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, Brazil, 32 pp.
  • Spinosa, L M and Krama, M. (2015) Desenvolvimento urbano baseado em conhecimento e ecossistemas de inovação urbanos. Working Paper. Post-graduation Programo n Urban Management. Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, Brazil, 42 pp.
  • Spinosa, L M, Schlemm, M M and Reis, R S. (2015) Brazilian innovation ecosystems
    in perspective: some challenges for stakeholders. Rebrae. Revista Brasileira de Estratégia (Impresso), v 8, 386-400.
  • Todeva, E. (2015) Market driven clusters as prerequisites and consequences of smart specialisation. Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 6:250-269. DOI:10.1007/s13132-014-0221-8.
  • Todeva, E. (2015) RIO Country Report Bulgaria 2014. JRC Science and Policy Report, European Commission, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, ISBN 978-92-79-49231-0, doi:10.2791/634274.
  • Todeva, E and Danson, M. (2016) Regional dimensions of the Triple Helix model. Industry and Higher Education, 30(1): 5-12, DOI: 10.5367/ihe.2016.0294.
  • Todeva, E and Rakhmatullin, R. (2016) Industry global value chains, connectivity and regional smart specialisation in Europe. An overview of theoretical approaches and mapping methodologies. JRC Science for Policy Report, European Union, EUR 28086 EN; ISBN 978-92-79-61508-5, doi:10.2791/176781,
  • Yang, P, Cai, Y and Lyytinen, A. (Forthcoming) Promoting university and industry links at the regional level: comparing China’s reform and international experience. Chinese Education and Society.


Meetings, Events, Conferences, Workshops Attended or Organised

  • XIV International Triple Helix Conference, 25-27 September 2016, Heidelberg, Germany. Organised the following tracks:

Entrepreneurial University and its Socio-Economic Impact
Entrepreneurial University and Regional Innovation Systems
Science Parks and Incubators – New Frontiers
Regional Dimensions of Triple Helix – Clusters, Cities and Geographic Boundaries
Innovation Clusters and Cluster Initiatives as Practical Implementation of Triple Helix Collaboration
Boosting Innovation and Growth through University-Industry Co-Creation
Individuals in the Triple Helix
Business Led Triple Helix and the New Role of Government
Are we facing a New Generation of National Innovation Systems?
Advancing New Models and Tools for Knowledge Transfer
Triple Helix Model and Knowledge Creation in Developing Countries
Triple Helix: Gender, Entrepreneurship and Diversity

  • XIII International Triple Helix Conference, August 2015, Beijing, China

Meetings, Events, Conferences, Workshops Attended or Organised
The THA Thematic Research Group (TRG) Entrepreneurial University organized a workshop on The Future of the Entrepreneurial University on 24 August, 2015, at Beijing Normal University. It was a one-day workshop on exploring the topic of the entrepreneurial university from multiple perspectives. Thirty participants from various countries attended the event.

  • Regional Studies Association Conference – TRG members participated in the Institutional Theory Workshop.
  • ASAC 2016 – article presented, L’adaptation de la publicité expliquée par les dimensions culturelles.
  • Danish Wind Association – Workshops and Posters.
  • Coneeect International Symposium, 10-11 September 2015, Berlin – presentation by Professor Yuzhuo Cai, the Convener of the THA Entrepreneurial Universities Thematic Research Group.
  • Intelligences Numériques 2016 – article presented, Lien de confiance sur les réseaux sociaux : une typologie des stratégies communicationnelles entre les entreprises et leurs consommateurs.
  • THA Webinar – Fostering the Innovation in Brazil – an Industry Project, by Celson Pantoja Lima.
  • THA Webinar – Developing Innovation Ecosystems, 24 September 2015 – Innovation Ecosystems and Knowledge Based Urban Development – An Analysis of the Brazilian system, by Luiz Marcio Spinosa.
  • UNIKE (University in Knowledge Based Economy) Conference in June, 2016.
  • World Comparative and International Education Society Conference in August 2016.
  • University Industry Interaction Network (UIIN) Conference (June 2016, Netherlands).
  • 9th ICEIRD (International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development), June 2016. Romania.
  • Oman Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Conference (December 2015)

Invited Speakers

Ketikidis, P.
Roundtable Discussion: Digital Europe: Growth and Innovation promote Entrepreneurship – the EU gives SMEs priority for growth (March 2016, Greece).

Ketikidis, P.
Roundtable Discussion on Triple Helix Interactions during the Ninth Conference on Innovation and Development (December 2015, Greece).

Ketikidis, P.
Roundtable Discussion on Triple Helix interactions for Entrepreneurial Support during the Oman Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Conference (December 2015, Oman).

Todeva, E.
Emerging Scientific Discourses and Triple Helix Theory – Welcome address at the XIV International Triple Helix conference, 25-27 September, Heidelberg, Germany.

Todeva, E.
The Emerging Model of Regional Triple Helix, Keynote presentation at the Eighth International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Developments (ICEIRD), Bucharest, Romania.

Todeva, E.
Smart Regions Conference: Driving Smart Specialisation Investments in priority Areas for European Growth, 1-2 June 2016, Brussels, Belgium.

Todeva, E.
Industrial Modernisation and Smart Specialisation: Value Chain Strategic Development Model for Inter-Regional Cooperation, 11 May 2016, Brussels, Belgium.

Todeva, E.
Deter or Comply? Theoretical Tensions between Regulation, Governance and Strategic Behaviour, Keynote presentation at the Workshop on Strategic Governance, University of Sao Paolo at Riberao Preto, 14 April 2016, Riberao Preto, Brazil.

Todeva, E.
Measuring Innovation in Europe for Future Growth, Keynote Seminar for Innovate Limited, 20 January 2016, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


Participation and Membership in Affiliated Societies that Contribute to the Triple Helix Agenda

UIIN University Industry Interaction Network
BIN Business Innovation Network
EBAN European Business Angel Network
HeBAN Hellenic Business Angel Network
AIB Academy of International Business
MOPAN Multi-Organisational Partnerships, Alliances & Networks
HICSS Hawaii International Conference on System Science
SOGBED International Conference of the Society of Global Business & Economic Development
EURAM European Academy of Management
RSA Regional Studies Association
EAIR European Association of Institutional Research
CHER Consortium of Higher Education Researchers
New Institutionalism Association


Research Projects: Undertaken and On-Going

  • NetMIB – Network of Multidisciplinary Business Model Innovation and Ideation (ERASMUS+ Project)
  • Innovations frugales pour l’insertion de la base de la pyramide dans le XXI siècle (on-going).
  • Commercialization of innovation across borders: the impact of the distances (on-going).
  • Le management comparatif et les avantages compétitifs internationaux.
  • L’innovation et le développement durable.
  • L’impact de la “distance technologique” lors du processus d’internationalisation des entreprises de haute technologie brésiliennes.
  • Innovation Ecosystems: an analysis of components for public policies and knowledge-based urban development. UC Berkeley, Visiting Scholar Project.
  • Offshore Wind Denmark; in the future planning to make a pilot project on ‘Strategic innovation in harbour spaces’, which has a Triple Helix framing.


Research Applications Submitted

  • H2020 Call – SCIENCE WITH AND FOR SOCIETY (SWAFS) proposal submitted.
  • Promoting regional innovation and resilient society in a global context – for the theme topic of Academy of Finland’s strategic funding 2017-2018.
  • Les nouvelles applications mobiles en Afrique de l’Ouest.
  • Innovations frugales pour l’insertion de la base de la pyramide dans le XXI siècle.
  • VSPA Innovation HUB. UC Berkeley, Joint Project between UC Berkeley and Pontifical Catholic University (BR).
  • Offshore Wind Denmark, submitted pilot application.

Media/Public Participation

  • CBC, Radio Canada, La Presse, Les Affaires (all in Canada, mostly in the Quebec province).
  • Press Release on comments to statistical analyses in the Danish Wind sector were made and also comments to our report on the offshore wind industry has been made to the press –
  • GAZETA DO POVO, press release on innovation ecosystems and urban development.

Observations: How the Field (TRG Theme) is Developing

  • From our ecosystem’s perspectives, there is more movement of staff among the two institutions (university and industry), especially due to EU funding which had been acquired. Without such funding (or similar), there is little willingness to interact.
  • Still embryonic. The research field is developing very fast with researchers participating interdisciplinary regarding the innovation challenge to transcend national innovation systems as highlighted in the 2016 Triple Helix conference.
  • International workshops and company sensibilization.
  • Enhance research on transcending national innovation systems for strategic innovation to make a difference in ecosystems.
  • We have identified a number of gaps/research questions to be tackled:
    – How to conceptualise and theorise the entrepreneurial university for both research and application-oriented higher education institutions with consideration of the local context?
    – The role of the entrepreneurial university beyond its contribution to technology transfer and for regional economic development. Eg. the role of the entrepreneurial university in changing the institutional environment for better construction of the Triple Helix system?
    – What are the challenges or unintended consequences in the process of developing the entrepreneurial university?
    – Do we have alternative ways to resolve the problems that the model of the entrepreneurial university is used to address?

Future Initiatives, Plans, Ideas: How to Accelerate Development of the Field

  • To apply for funding and recruitment of more PhD students in this field.
  • To integrate (to a greater extent) university operations with industry.
  • To develop a special issue on the topic of the entrepreneurial university mainly based on 2016 TRC papers.
  • To collaborate with the Entrepreneurial University Metrics project.
  • To initiate a research project and seek appropriate funding sources

Recommendations to the THA: How to Incentivise Participation and Support Activities of the TRGs

  • Disseminate the UIP TRG in order to attract more members.
  • Develop focused workshops on specific topics.
  • Work intensively to develop international research projects, which can attract funding and interdisciplinary
  • Researchers.
  • How to incentivise participation:
    To exempt first year membership fee when joining a TRG.
    To provide support for member’s publication (eg. peer review before submission to a journal, the member could cross review each other’s paper).
    To share information concerning funding/work/study opportunities to members.
    To promote the TRGs, and interact with TRG members via social media.
  • How to support activities of the TRGs:
    To provide opportunities to organise tracks on themes at each THC as organised this year.
    To support promotion and activities of TRG though THA’s professional networks.
    To facilitate inter-TRG cooperation.