The XVII Triple Helix Conference 2019, Triple Helix – a Catalyst for Change, will be held in Cape Town from 9-11 September. This call for papers seeks to connect the Triple Helix with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs-Agenda 2030), and the African Union Agenda 2063. Exploring this connection will be a major outcome and follow up of the 2019 conference.
The Triple Helix model presents an opportunity to achieve innovation outcomes for the socio-economic good through collaboration with multi stakeholders within academia, industry and government. Local and international researchers, policy makers, and practitioners will gather together to discuss how to affect positive change on a social, economic, and environmental level through bringing the creators, implementers, and enablers of innovation together in research collaborations, policy initiatives, and political actions in society.
Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of seventeen global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. The SDGs are part of Resolution 70/1 of the United Nations General Assembly: “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” That has been shortened to “2030 Agenda.” Agenda 2063: Toward the Africa we want is the strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next fifty years adopted in 2015. These agenda aim to make the world a better place for all and calls on academia, government, and business to collaborate in new ways to make our world a better place to live.
The concept of the Triple Helix of university-industry-government relationships initiated in the 1990s by Etzkowitz (1993) and Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff (1995), encompassing elements of precursor works by Lowe (1982) and Sábato and Mackenzi (1982), interprets the shift from a dominating industry-government dyad in the Industrial Society to a growing triadic relationship between university-industry-government in the Knowledge Society.
The Triple Helix thesis is that the potential for innovation and economic development in a Knowledge Society lies in a more prominent role for the university and in the hybridisation of elements from university, industry, and government to generate new institutional and social formats for the production, transfer, and application of knowledge.
An integrated analysis is required to balance social, economic, and environmental development in all nations. By bringing together the three dimensions of sustainable development into one framework, the Triple Helix model enables broad, cross-sector, and long-term analyses of the impacts of innovative policies, research, and implementations.

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1. The Role of the University in XXI Economic Development Agenda

Research on policy and business systems approaches, tools, techniques, institutions and capabilities that mobilize implementation of collaborative projects and contribute to better output and outcomes. Included in this theme:
• The entrepreneurial university and the research agenda in the XXI century;
• TTO, incubators/accelerators and other tech transfer mechanisms;
• Entrepreneurial and sustainable education;
• Open Science;
• Agile systems-thinking and discovering talent, the role of innovation Indicators, data and experimentation;
• Public policy innovation in inclusive development and the multi-helix networks;
• Capacitation and funding models for Triple Helix outcomes;
• Case/comparative studies of Triple Helix in different sectors;
• All tools, approaches and learning models that activate collaboration e.g. living labs, digital/virtual platforms, social media, futures techniques;
science parks and other that mobilize triple/multi Helix for innovation;
• Ecosystem connectors and their role in achieving innovation outcomes;
• Culture towards innovation and creativity.

2. Innovation for Development

Social innovation and inclusive innovation approaches, and all outcomes that have a social impact:
• Triple Helix and civil society (quadruple helix),
• Triple Helix and the environment and sustainability,
• Social entrepreneurship,
• Agri sector (acroscience, automation, food security, water, waste and more),
• Educational outcomes,
• Job creation,
• Health System, Life Sciences and Nutrition and its impact.

3. Technologies and University/Industry approaches that Catalyse Change through Technological Convergence

Industry and universities leading innovation through:
• Creative industries,
• Open Innovation,
• Entrepreneurship and start-ups,
• Triple Helix on the clean and green industry,
• Industry 4.0,
• Mobility, logistics,
• The knowledge economy and digital economy/market,
• Big data, AI
• Space and Satellite Industry.

4. Spaces and Places: Innovation Districts and Smart Cities

The concept of innovation districts/hubs in all urban, peri-urban and rural settings while mobilising innovation in city regions or communities, and unlocking the township economies, start-ups and entrepreneurs; undiscovered territories: culture centric breakthroughs from research with outcomes in society. Developing the Triple Helix in cities, regional economic development projects, districts of innovation and non-academic incubators/accelerators and co-working spaces.

5. From R&D to Innovation

Collaboration with industry or government-led outcomes of R&D in the form of social or economic impact through implementation or commercialisation of processes, prototypes or designs or business models.

6. Other

An open theme to encourage utilisation of the Triple Helix models to achieve innovation in areas that were not mentioned in the above tracks but could be of interest to showcase the Triple Helix from an innovative perspective, South/South Collaboration. Comparative studies between countries. Africa/China, could be of interest to explore how different countries apply the Triple Helix thinking and other innovative research around the topic.


29 March 2019 Abstract submission deadline
17 May 2019 Notification of review outcome
8 June 2019 Deadline for accepted authors to register to confirm attendance
July 2019 Initial programme available online

Early bird tickets opened in December 2018.

Abstract: minimum 750 words maximum 1500 words, explaining the following: Purpose *, Design/Methodology/Approach *, Findings *, Research limitations/implications (if applicable), Practical and/or social implications (if applicable), Originality/value (if applicable) *Mandatory
Abstract submissions are to be made in AbstractWiz /
You will be required to create login details, upload an extended abstract for oral or poster presentations, select a theme and category which best suits your abstract and include details of the author/s. Further information and application guidelines available: https://triple-helix.co.za/abstract-submission-guidelines-2/


XVII THC2019, Cape Town, South Africa
Call for Papers, Speakers and Content Contributions

Don’t miss out on being included in the conversation at the first ever Triple Helix Conference in Africa on 9 -11 September in 2019.

The Call for Abstracts for Research Articles, Case Studies, Research-in-Progress, Student Papers is currently open. Please visit:

The major projected outcome of this conference is to explore the connection between the Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the UN Agenda 2030/African Union Agenda 2063 and the conference themes to develop a legacy project to impact all of Africa. This can only be achieved by bringing together all stakeholders.

Introducing a second Call for Speakers and Content contributions (panel and round table discussions, keynotes and workshops). Please visit:

Early bird tickets go on sale on 23 January 2019.



Published by the Triple Helix Association  –  ISSN 2281-4515

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