HIGHLIGHTS from XVI International Triple Helix Conference Manchester, UK September 5-8, 2018

Associate Professor
Grenoble Ecole de Management
*email address protected*

After Korea in 2017, the XVI International Triple Helix Conference, was held in Manchester, UK, on 5-8 September 2018.
Almost three hundred delegates from forty countries participated in the Conference that included fifty-five sessions or special panels, eighteen entries for the Best Paper competition, sixteen posters registered for display, a Triple Helix Master Class, and several innovation oriented tours of the region. Multiple sponsors from across the Triple Helix community supported the event.
The event was truly diverse, with a broad gender balance across all aspects (Scientific Committee, Keynote Speakers, Session Chairs, and Presenters) and a significant representation of Early Career Researchers (ERC), including those supported by more than thirty-five ECR travel scholarships provided by the University of Manchester Hallsworth Conference Fund.
Prominent speakers and stakeholders gathered to share their insights and search for effective solutions to the global challenges of the economy and society. It was an ideal occasion to catch up with new and old members and friends in the Triple Helix field and Innovation Studies community. It also provided an opportunity to discover a vibrant city, cradle of the first Industrial Revolution, renewing itself through university-based initiatives, such as the new Graphene Center, commercializing an advanced material invented in a Manchester University laboratory with great potential to infuse innovation in a variety of industries. The European Union supported the Manchester corridor project, recognized in signage around the conference venue, which will doubtless raise the city’s innovation profile in the decades to come.
The following are some highlights from this successful meeting, Triple Helix gatherings are characterized by an atmosphere of conviviality and openness that allows each participant to feel at home. PhD students and young researchers chat and share ideas with senior professors, while policymakers and representatives from the business world informally interact with academicians.
Among the highlights of the conference were Luke Georghieu’s discussion on Manchester University’s Triple Helix interactions, Rune Fitjar’s analysis of the substitution of relational capital for intellectual capital in development strategies, and Sheri Breznitz’s keynote talk on comparative university-industry modalities. The keynote speakers provided interesting, often comparative, data and highlighted the need for a systemic approach to current challenges. (A more specific account of some of the workshops is available in the Appendix to this article).
The Manchester Conference’s highest accomplishment lies in its intellectual outcomes originated from a multidisciplinary community interested in exploring optimal approaches to developing an innovative and entrepreneurial society. Scholars and practitioners from a variety of fields engaged in different innovation areas shared insights and experiences. A glimpse of the breadth and depth of this effort can be seen in the book of abstracts: http://thc2018.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/THC-Abstract-Book-final.pdf
Convergence of ideas from different research fields and innovation sectors creates new opportunities for learning in research and practice of innovation and entrepreneurship. The Manchester Conference also became a place in which one can see the results of intellectual engagement from more than a quarter of a century of developing the multidisciplinary Triple Helix community.

The conference was organized over several tracks ranging from regional innovation systems to transition economies; from service and creative industries to medical innovation; from social innovation to academic entrepreneurship; and from smart cities to the collaboration of university and industry. Overall, attendants contributed to:
• The renewal of the Triple Helix model by strengthening its theoretical basis using the insights of multiple disciplines, such as economics, management, sociology and geography,
• The construction of synergies between Triple Helix theory and related concepts such as national and regional innovation systems, the innovation eco-system, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
• The role of Civil Society in innovation and entrepreneurship as a contextual framework for free interaction among Triple Helix actors or as a parallel helix posited by proponents of the Quadruple Helix
• The emergence of a plethora of methodological approaches in Triple Helix analysis such as the Living Lab, Citizen Science, social network analysis, and Artificial Intelligence as well as new developments in bibliometric and comparative case studies.
Fueled by these contributions, the Triple Helix model grows and achieves its potential in guiding both research and practice on innovation.
The THA gives thanks and appreciation to the organizations that have collaborated to host this successful Conference, namely:
• The University of Manchester
• Manchester Metropolitan University
• Health Innovation Manchester
• Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor
(Manchester’s Innovation District)
• Manchester Institute of Innovation Research
• Conference Partners International,
• Marketing Manchester
• Triple Helix Association.
Special thanks is also given to:
• the XVI International Triple Helix Conference Chair Professor Jackie Oldham of The University of Manchester, and Director of Health Innovation, Manchester Oxford Road Corridor;
• the Members of the Conference Local Organizing Committee, Professor Philip Shapira and Dr Elvira Uyarra from Alliance Manchester Business School, Anne Dornan from MSP, Natalie Ireland from Museum of Manchester, and Sally Radles from Manchester Metropolitan University;
• The volunteers who supported the Local Organizing Committee,
• The Professional Conference Organizer, Conference Partners International, for an excellent curation of the Conference communication and logistics.
A grand finale for the THC2018 was the Conference Gala Evening held at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, whose exhibits spanning textile machinery, aircraft and one of the first electronic computers, provided an inspiring venue for the THA to present its Awards for:
Best Paper Award 2017, to Dr Georg Fuerlinger for his article “The role of the state in the entrepreneurship ecosystem: insights from Germany”. The Award recognizes the most valuable paper published in Triple Helix Journal in 2017.
2018 Early Career Researcher Best Paper Award and two Runners-up, respectively to: Sergio Manrique, for the paper “Personal Networks and Trust in Public-Private R&D Partnerships: A Case Study from Spain” (Winner) and Qianqian Zhang for the paper “Design of a Virtual Network Organization for University-enterprise-government Cooperative Scientific Research Projects with University-dominant Model” and Oishee Kundu and Nicholas Matthews for the paper “The Role of Charitable Funding in University Research” (Runners-up). The award recognizes the most valuable paper submitted by an Early Career Researcher (ERC) in response to the XVI International Triple Helix Conference 2018 call for abstract.
Most Committed THA Volunteer Recognition Award 2017, to Sheila Forbes. The Award recognizes the special and long lasting contribution of a THA volunteer.

Congratulations to the winners.
See you all in Cape Town for the 2019 XVII International Triple Helix Conference
9-11 September 2019




Quadruple Helix Engagement and Intermediation

This workshop focused on the concept of responsible research and innovation which is becoming a pressuring trend in the international research realm. The workshop started by show-casing the efforts of the FIT4RRI project (https://fit4rri.eu) towards designing a methodology for responsible research and innovation (RRI) experiments. There is a serious gap between the potential role and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and Open Science (OS) could play a part in helping Research Funding and Performing Organisations (RFPOs) to manage the rapid transformation processes affecting science (especially the science-in-society aspects) and the actual impact RRI and OS are currently having on RFPOs, research sectors and national research systems. FIT4RRI is intended precisely to contribute in bridging this gap, promoting viable strategies to activate institutional changes in RFPOs.
The project, in particular, acts on two key factors: i) Enhancing competences and skills related to RRI and OS through an improvement of the RRI and OS training offer (in terms of tools, actions and strategies) presently available, and ii) Institutionally embedding RRI/OS practices and approaches by promoting the diffusion of more advanced governance settings to create an enabling environment for RRI and OS. With this double aim in view, FIT4RRI overall methodology is based on three main axes: an analytical strand devoted to understand what is happening in the RRI and OS practice, taking into account general trends, barriers and drivers to RRI and OS, interests and values, advanced experiences. A testing strand (observing RRI/OS in action though four co-creation experiments: material science, energy, optical monitoring and data mining) aimed at figuring out possible solutions in terms of training approaches and governance settings; and a proactive strand, promoting changes (i.e. developing training tools and actions and easy-accessible evidence-based guidelines on governance settings to enable RRI and OS).
Specifically, the RRI experiments aim at bridging the quadruple helix stakeholders in co-creation with research funding and performing organisations in order to induce the institutional change required to properly embed RRI and all its pillars (ethics, governance, gender equality, science communication, open access, open science). The methodology consists of key stages (appraisal, design, implementation, measurement, mutual learning) required to identify, manage, and engage the quadruple helix stakeholders as well as of a toolkit with indicators (qualitative and quantitative) to measure the success of the experiment with regard to institutional
change. Such indicators are shaped around the following areas:
Quantitative indicators:
• Representation of each internal and quadruple helix actor
• Interest in RRI of each internal and quadruple helix actor [beginning and end of experiment] • Awareness of RRI of each internal and quadruple helix actor [at the beginning and end] • Perceived usefulness of RRI of each internal and quadruple helix actor [at the beginning and end] Number of RRI best practices evaluated and highly rated by the stakeholders
• Number of internal stakeholders involved in the experiments
• Number of quadruple helix consensus solutions (common agreed plans/steps
• Number of RRI pillars focused upon
• Number of RRI best practices considered for assessment of their potential implementation
Qualitative indicators:
• Policy change recommendations
• Organizational change recommendations
• Industry/RFPO proposals for collaboration with researchers
• Society-driven proposals for collaboration with researchers
• Observation of result/best practice multiplication in the quadruple helix ecosystem
Besides other presentations, an experiment was performed during the workshop by the Open University with the aim of co-creating with the largest academic publishing houses to enable data mining on their publication databases towards a future full open access exercise in the EU. Overall, at this stage there are four ongoing experiments about quadruple helix co-creation practices. Progress updates about their key findings will be posted on the project website (https://fit4rri.eu).


Opportunities and Challenges in Operationalizing the Helix Model at Regional Level: the Experience of the Triple Helix Association Chapters

The Chapters of the Triple Helix Association are “local hubs” promoted by an existing or newly created organization. A Chapter may be hosted by a university or any other public and private body, as well as an independent group of individuals, drawing together representatives from the three helices (university-industry-government), and approved by THA according to a specific selection procedure.
The scope of the THA Chapters is to act as local interfaces of the THA, as the evangelist of the TH model and as the leading actor of the Triple Helix model operationalization in its own countries. The THA has currently has five Chapters, in Brazil, Greece, South Asia, Russian and Kazakhstan.
This workshop was intended to show-case the best practices from the THA Chapters in order to enable mutual learning as well as to trigger potential interest from third parties to establish Chapters worldwide. SWOT analyses were presented by each chapter in order to elaborate on what were the key success factors from Chapter start-ups until reaching sustainable operations. It was also discussed how the main blockers were mitigated. The overall consensus was that the THA model is a very successful base for the THA chapters, while some Chapters are even progressing towards quadruple helix actors in their business models. However, a common blocker was financial sustainability – which in many occasions was mitigated through transnational R&D funding and/or industry sponsorship. In a few cases, lack of policy support was deemed to be a critical threat to the Chapter operations. Most of the Chapters are operating based on the financial and/or in-kind support from their host organization and do have an important role in their countries by mobilising the triple helix actors.
One of the main key success factors identified by the Chapters is their proper integration into the local innovation ecosystems in order to access the key players as well as to provide a greater value for the citizens. Some Chapters have a joint operational strategy with their ecosystem members, while others are more conservative (especially in cases where the actors are reluctant to engage). Some of the future challenges for the Chapters include: digitalization and disruptive technologies (and how these impact on triple helix research), enhanced market orientation, engagement of young researchers and funding base diversification.

For more information about these workshops, please contact:
Dr Adrian Solomon
SEERC (*email address protected*), and
Ms Maria Laura Fornaci,
THA (*email address protected*).



Published by the Triple Helix Association  –  ISSN 2281-4515

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