A Retrospective Overview

Christiane Gebhardt

The XV Triple Helix Conference was heldin Daegu, South Korea, from 14-16 September 2017. The conference theme was the Fourth Industrial Revolution, DesignThinking, and the Triple Helix, and the event was organized by the Triple HelixAssociation and Asialics, Korea.
With highly reflective participants, many fruitful discussions took place which were aiming at the future of research and the role of research in societies. The conference was linked to the ICTConvergence Expo Korea 2017, a Fairwhich introduced ICT products and smart systems.

The Triple Helix community in Daegu face the challenge that system based transformation and ICT convergence willspeed up the transformation process, andthat three research strategies might be needed: (i) to find scientific value and science based solutions for current challenges; (ii) to contribute tounderstanding the dimension of future challenges and the change dimension (in sectors like automotive and research and logistics, etc), and (iii) to understand the transformation process and provide research scenarios. The latter will rely on new integrative methods (qualitative and quantitative on different levels of macro.organisation and individual).


So Young Kim (KAIST), Doogap Yi (SeoulNational University) and Jongmin Lee (University of S & T), pointed out that there are no technological revolutions, they are always social-technological revolutions, and now there is a open pathway to redefine the role of universities, government, and industries inthe Triple Helix and their interface in the governance of emerging technologies.

Professor Henry Etzkowitz presented the main concepts of the Triple Helix Modeland discussed the Silicon Valley Paradox and its dangers as a growth model after a start-up phase for regional development. How to develop the Triple Helix in a balanced way? Will it come to an end (lock ins: high rents will hamper the proximity factor; the lack of politicalgovernance and tax income for the publicinfrastructure and educational system on state level; increasing structural disparities, etc.) or will ICT further fuel thisCaliforn ian innovation centre?(developmental process, transfer of the concept).

There were interesting papers based on social network analysis which opened the discussion onto what we measure when working with social media data. Not onlyis the integration of disciplines necessary for future research, but the TH community must take the perspective ofothers in order to develop research methods to capture empirical data and to build new heuristics.
·     Introduction of belief systems/constructivism for analysing big data and communications patterns (linguistics, humanities and social science).
·     How to use behavioural data and bigdata analytics in social sciences.
·     The value of a historical (longitudinal)studies to find patterns in TH development and characteristics.
·     Society and governance not as a forth Helix but analyse the context,embeddedness of Triple Helix constellation either thematic or regionaland as a relation to the innovation system discourse.
·     The value and limits of neo-institutional,functional, and systemic approaches as explanatory elements for TH.
·     More knowledge (and research design development) on TH implementation.


The current university ranking model onlyconsiders the teaching and research dimension, while GEUM incorporates the entrepreneurial activities conduct by universities to promote economic and social development. GEUM is a research project that aims to develop a set of metrics to evaluate the entrepreneurial university.
The GEUM sessions allows for discussion around some key questions as below:
·     How do we embed the idea of an entrepreneurial university and sustainable regional development in the current university rankings?
·     How do we build a system model ofdifferent indicators? (System dynamics? – can AI research help here)?

The next GEUM Workshop will be in June 2018, in the United Kingdom.


Organized by the National Research Tomsk State University, Russia, and with researchers from Finland, and China, this session emphasized the new requirements for cooperation between companies and universities. The questions that emerged during the presentations and discussion included:
·     What is the impact of different innovation policies and policy instruments and programs in regions?– over the time! (Japan SNA).
·     Will regional innovation policies continue in times of political change?How will the context of international relations affect regional innovation policies.
·     How do we manage Triple Helixnetworks on the organizational and individual level?
·     Do we need new organisationalstructures and new knowledge in organizational development?
·     Was the institutional approach a research design bias?
·     How will generational change affect leadership of networks and hierarchies in organizations?
·     What will digital transformation do to the future of work, the society and to the international division of work?

The discussion with the session attendees paved the ground for a re-shaping of the current WPS format and scope in order to better address the needs ofresearchers involved in innovative and multidisciplinary research activities.
The Association will set up SPIRAL, a new element to give students, faculty, and others the opportunity to validate research ideas in the TH community.
SPIRAL, as indicted by its name, will be an open innovation platform for exchanging and growing research ideas, as well as expanding research collaboration.
Though having good research ideas, many researchers could not further carry them on and eventually develop them as published work for many reasons, such as less maturation of the research ideas (especially when the idea is too innovative), insufficient required knowledge (when the research requires multi-disciplinary perspectives), and the lack of time or other resources. SPIRAL is aimed to overcome these challenges.
Yuzhou Cai, Rhiannon Pugh, and Po Yang will set up this innovative tool to identifyand discuss new research and to find partners in the TH community.