XIV International Triple Helix Conference
Triple Helix Models of Innovation: Addressing Ecosystem
Challenges in the Era of Crises
25-27 September 2016
Professor Henry Etzkowitz
Chair, Organising Committee Dr Emanuela Todeva
Chair, Scientific Committee Djordje Pinter
Conference Manager Mrs Maria Laura Fornaci
THA Executive Director
Happy 20th Anniversary !!
The Triple Helix Association celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Triple Helix Professional Community at the 14th International Meeting in Heidelberg.
Since the first Triple Helix Conference held in Amsterdam in 1996, practitioners and academics have been working together debating on collaborative models and pathways for innovation for prosperity.
The 14th International Triple Helix Conference was held on 25-27 September 2016 in Heidelberg, hosted by the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ). The conference assembled over 150 scholars and practitioners from thirty-two countries around the world who focused their discussion and intellectual contributions on Triple Helix Models for Innovation Addressing Ecosystem Changes in the Era of Crisis.
The opening plenary raised a number of questions on the multiple global crises and searching for solutions. Dr Dimitri Corpakis, Dr Thomas Kirchhoff, and Laura Henderson, all reported efforts by companies, governments, and individual citizens to contribute to emerging solutions through collaboration, consensus and open space.
Emerging Scientific Fields in the Triple Helix
The discussions were organised into fifteen scientific tracks, three plenaries, three panel discussion forums, two roundtable discussions, and special events. The scientific tracks were moderated by leading academics and practitioners in each field.
Among the most popular tracks were: Boosting innovation and growth through university industry co-creation; Entrepreneurial university and its socio-economic impact; Science parks and incubators new frontiers; Innovation clusters and cluster initiatives as practical implementation of triple helix cooperation; Social innovation and the role of universities; Business led triple helix; and Individuals in the triple helix.
Other popular tracks marked emergent and consolidated fields in Triple Helix research with a focus on Advancing new models and tools for knowledge transfer and Gender, entrepreneurship and diversity.
A special thanks to all track conveners who moderated the selection process and the discussions during the conference:
|TRACK||CONVENERS AND MODERATORS|
|Entrepreneurial University and its Socio-Economic Impact||Yuzhuo Cai, Tampere University, Finland; Karen Barrañon, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain|
|Entrepreneurial University and Regional Innovation Systems||Yao Wei, Research Institute of Development Strategy, Zhejiang University, China; Weng Mosi, Research Institute of Development Strategy, Zhejiang University, China|
|Science Parks and Incubators – New Frontiers||Juan A. Bertolin, Espaitec, Science and Technology Park of Universitat Jaume I of Castellon, Spain; Guilherme Ary Plonski, University of Sao Paolo, Brazil|
|Measuring Social and Economic Impacts of Science and Technology Parks||Patricia Alencar Silva Mello, Ciro Biderman, Lycia Lima, and Claudia Hiromi Oshiro, Fundação Getulio Vargas – Public Administration and Government School (FGV-SP EAESP), Brazil|
|Regional Dimensions of Triple Helix – Clusters, Cities and Geographic Boundaries||Mike Danson, Heriot-Watt University, UK; Emanuela Todeva, Research Centre for Business Clusters, Networks and Economic Development (BCNED), UK|
|Innovation Clusters and Cluster Initiatives as Practical Implementation of Triple Helix Collaboration||Nataliya Smorodinskaya, Institute of Economics, RAS, Russian Federation; Tatiana Pospelova and Natalya Ivashenko, Moscow State Lomonosov University|
|Boosting Innovation and Growth Through University-Industry Co-Creation||Panayiotis Ketikidis, International Faculty of the University of Sheffield, CITY College; Devrim Göktepe-Hultén, Lund University, Sweden|
|Individuals in the Triple Helix||Rhiannon Pugh, Uppsala University, Sweden; Yuzhuo Cai, Tampere University, Finland|
|Business Led Triple Helix and the New Role of Government||Myung Chomyunghwan, College of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Konkuk University, South Korea; Marina van Geenhuizen, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands; Michele Coletti, Politecnico di Milano|
|Are we facing a New Generation of National Innovation Systems?||Luiz Marcio Spinosa, University of California Berkeley (USA) and Pontifical Catholic University of Parana (Brazil); Christiane Gebhardt, Malik Institute St. Gallen, Switzerland|
|Advancing New Models and Tools for Knowledge Transfer||Hester Tack, Partner in Gunn and Twynmore, BV, The Netherlands; Professor Kenneth Husted, University of Auckland, New Zealand|
|Triple Helix Model and Knowledge Creation in Developing Countries||Mariza Almeida, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Triple Helix: Gender, Entrepreneurship and Diversity||Devrim Göktepe-Hultén, Lund University, Sweden; Rebecca Lund, DPU, Copenhagen, Denmark|
|Measuring the Strength of Triple Helix||Khalil A Arbi, University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan; Han Woo Park, Yeung Nam University, Korea|
|Triple Helix and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems in the Light of Complexity and Evolutionary Ecology||Bernd Wurth, University of Strathclyde, UK|
|Social Innovation – _Is there a Role for Universities?||Doris Schartinger and Matthias Weber, Austrian Institute of Technology|
|Triple Helix and Governance||Claire Champenois, Audencia Business School|
Special Thanks to the Conference Host: The German Cancer Research Institute (DKFZ)
The Conference host, the German Cander Research Institute (DKFZ), provided an excellent environment for high quality presentations, and the speakers and moderators ensured sufficient time for rich and insightful conversations.
Among the highlights of the conference were: the panel discussions on Innovation in RHINE-NECKAR Metropolitan Region, and the Plenary on the German Innovation System, which independently confirmed that the strength of German industry rests upon effective collaboration between firms and a multinational pool of scientists attracted by the strong research infrastructure in Germany. Active brokers in this dialogue, such as the InnovationLab Heidelberg, confirmed that ‘if you host the most advanced technology equipment you will attract the best knowledge capacity’.
Dr Martin Raditsch highlighted how mobile are these transformational capabilities in the context of global production networks – an observation echoed also by the presentations at the roundtable on Global Science ‘Scapes’.
The question of the plenary Innovation in Germany – Doing Good but Can We Make It Better? did not really produce an answer, due to the positive results generated by extra funding in research and strengthening innovation capacity. Germany is at the top in the world on technology transfer in some fields such as manufacturing 4.0, machine tools and robotics. The German system, however, is dual: on one side is the frontier research at Max Planck and the effective knowledge transfer at Fraunhofers, but on the other side is the below average academic university system.
Although, the institutional funding in Germany does not produce a significant impact on the global ranking of German Universities, it clearly has enhanced the scientific capabilities of the leading research institutes, which feed effectively into the global competitiveness of the German economy. It seems that effective linkages across the government-industry-education and research spaces can support growth and prosperity without an explicit reference to the Triple Helix model.
The panel discussions on Policy-Driven Analysis of the National Innovation Systems in Europe, and the Role of the European Commission JRC Research and Innovation Observatory (RIO) revisited the same questions and raised further doubts whether scattered pockets of Excellence in Europe can drive regional economic growth without active Triple Helix constellations, participatory platforms and global linkages.
The conversation then continued to explore whether and how smart specialisation strategies can affect positively regions and economic growth, where we heard from Smart Cities, Smart Regions and Smart Materials, about the challenges to collaborate in a multi-stakeholder setting.
Presenters acknowledged that building Triple Helix, or Quadruple Helix by itself is a prerequisite, but not sufficient to address all challenges. Hence, some form of vertical and horizontal interface across national and regional Triple Helix constellations are required to address large scale problems.
The vision for science parks as hubs for investment and growth was reiterated in the case of Poland, where the Mayor of Byalistok, Mr Tadeusz Truskolasky, shared his insights for Bialystok Science and Technology Park in Implementing the Smart City Concept, and Todd Williams, CEO, Hunter Regional Development Australia, presented the regional smart specialisation strategy and discussed the Governance Framework (or lack of) for Triple Helix Interactions.
The regional dimensions of Triple Helix were discussed in a number of tracks, including two sessions on innovation clusters.
While comparing current cluster practices in different countries, including Germany, Russia, Brazil and Chile, discussions revealed that the nominal presence of Triple Helix actors is not a sufficient prerequisite for the emergence of true innovation dynamics, accompanied by synergy effects and productivity growth. Countries lacking a favourable institutional environment for a continual collaboration or failing to keep to the so called ‘golden rules’ for cluster policies (stemming from Michael Porter’s concept of competitiveness) are facing systemic problems with transforming their clusters into self-financed and self-sustainable innovation ecosystems.
The conference also included roundtables on Varieties of Technology Transfer Models; Global Science Scapes; and on Gender, Entrepreneurship and Diversity. Among the empirical evidence, Professor Helen Lawton Smith presented recent TRIGGER research from a survey and interviews on gender differences in the commercialisation of research in UK universities. The results included a series of recommendations on commercialisation benefits, career, gender, and seniority issues.
Plenaries and roundtables organised by the GEUM project on Global Entrepreneurial University Metrics, advanced the discussions and achievements of the principal direction for the partnership to collaborate with ranking systems and promote the determined set of methods and metrics. The main observations confirmed that uuniversities’ innovative and entrepreneurial dimensions are excluded from the established ranking systems. Technical universities and universities of applied sciences realize a vast amount of innovation and entrepreneurship activities. However, there is no established form to demonstrate to the public and to stakeholders the results of such activities.
The members of the GEUM research network focused efforts on the emergent draft of a White Paper enlisting the current state-of-the-art in the field of measuring entrepreneurial university outputs and the outstanding questions and directions for future collaborative work. Countries present at the GEUM meeting were Russia, Brazil, USA, China, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom and Austria.
Other special events included two workshops on Inbound Outbound Opportunities for Academia and Creativity as a Key Complement to drive Triple Helix Innovation, an open session on Triple Helix Funding Opportunities, and the interactive Trilicious game ‘What challenges can we solve together’.
This year, for the first time, the Triple Helix Association sponsored two prizes (a) Best Scientific Paper and (b) Best Empirical and Practitioner Case.
The Awards Committee was constituted by Dr Emanuela Todeva, Chair of the Scientific Committee; Professor Panagiotis Ketikidis, Chief Editor of the International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development; and Dr Devrim Göktepe-Hulten, Editor of THA Hélice Magazine.
The Awards Committee gave two prices, both worth 250 EURO. The winners were:
- Best Scientific Paper Award
Boundary Spaces within Triple Helix
- Best Practitioner Case Award
John Hamilton Howard
Smart Specialisation as an Engagement and Governance Framework for Triple Helix Interactions.
Congratulations also to Juan Bertolin (Espaitec, Science and Technology Park of Universitat Jaume I of Castellon, Spain), and Guilherme Ary Plonski (University of Sao Paolo, Brazil) for their initiative to transform the track on Science Parks and Incubators – New Frontiers into a permanent research group as an official Thematic Research Group of the Triple Helix Association. We wish them well in their endeavour to bring together the research agendas of the International Science Park Association and the Triple Helix Association.
Overall, there was very little time to enjoy the historic grounds of Heidelberg Castle, and Heidelberg University Hall, or a boat trip along the river NECKAR – for those that committed to an extra day before or after the conference.
Future Meeting for your Diary
At the end of the programme we were invited by three future hosts to continue the debates on the Triple Helix model during 2017-2018.
Mr Mike MUTUNGI, Founder and CEO of I Choose Life – Africa, invited everyone to put in their diaries the dates for the next event, the First International Triple Helix Summit, to be held on 4-6 April 2017, in Nairobi, Kenya. The Summit topic is Accelerating the Attainment of Sustainable Development Goals through ICT and Data.
Special thanks to John Howard for his excellent photography! You can access the event photographs at:
XIV International Triple Helix Conference
German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg
Dr Dimitri Corpakis
Former Head of Unit, European Commission
27 September 2016
Asked by the organisers to say a few words to recap what we have learned during this conference, I would not however dare to summarise what we heard since that would be a daunting task (there were indeed so many excellent contributions).
Let me instead simply refer to a number of key emerging issues that in my view will mark the pace of innovation from now on and in particular the evolution of regional innovation ecosystems:
- We first saw that innovation ecosystems struggle in a context of global crises: social, economic, geopolitical crises , affect the way innovation can progress, with direct impacts on its emergence, development and delivery modes;
- Despite this unfavourable context, we can still believe that innovation can help save the world: innovation ecosystems can indeed make a difference.
- Innovation has a lot of allies, but the emerging entrepreneurial university may be among its most efficient ones: we need to try to develop this further and introduce credible and efficient metrics; we saw very serious work developing on this issue and the Triple Helix Association can boast global leadership on this track;
- The new industrial revolution (industry 4.0), artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of things (IOT), as well as smart materials and overall global convergence between the physical and the digital worlds, have the power to change completely the way we live and operate on the planet. Innovation ecosystems will be strongly affected by these trends, but at the same time they will act as drivers in the whole process; connecting regional innovation ecosystems to global value chains that will determine their future success towards driving growth and jobs;
- We need to work systematically to properly reconfigure and fine tune the new generation of national/regional innovation ecosystems: for this we can use a lot of tools: clusters, science parks, technology transfer and above all clever strategies for smart specialisation. Smart Specialisation holds the promise to effectively become the acid test for any Triple Helix approach, as it involves trust building, priority setting, stakeholder management and consultation. Special governance frameworks should then be used for making these strategies a success.
The Triple Helix Association will need now to face new challenges, but also to grasp new opportunities. With your help and participation it will turn these challenges to a success.
I feel the need to finish this short intervention by thanking Henry for his leadership as well as the whole Triple Helix Association team and our hosts for this great conference.
- FIRST INTERNATIONAL TRIPLE HELIX SUMMIT 2017 Nairobi, Kenya: 20/21 February 2017 Call for Papers
- XIV International Triple Helix Conference Report
- President’s corner
- Smart Specialisation as an Engagement Framework for Triple Helix Interactions
- Global Crises – Searching for Solutions
- The Entrepreneurial University in the Construction of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Legacy (S, T & I): a Proposal from Rio 2016 Olympic Games
- Working Paper Series
- Talks Series
- President’s Blog
- Thematic Research Groups (TRGs)
- Chapter News
- New THA Members July 2016 – November 2016
- THA News
- Publication Opportunities