THA News

Henry Etzkowitz attends Triple Helix Week in Tampere  30 September – 5 October 2019

President Mari Walls, Tampere University
greets Professor Henry Etzkowitz
(Photo by Jonne Renvall).

From 30 September to 5 October 2019, Professor Henry Etzkowitz visited Tampere University, Tampere, Finland, and attended a series of events to promote the scholarship of Triple Helix, including.

  • Triple Helix Workshop of ‘Soft Sciences Boosting SMEs’ Business’ on 2 October 2019.
  • Seminar on ‘Building Synergies between Triple Helix related Research Projects’ on 4 October 2019.
  • Tampere Stream Start-up Festival 2019, October 2019.
  • Meeting with key people involved in the 2020 Triple Helix Conference, including the President of Tampere University, Mari Walls; Dean of Faculty of Management and Business, Matti Sommarberg; and colleagues from Higher Education Group of the Faculty of Management and Business, and with potential partners of the Triple Helix Conference, including the Vice President of Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Kirsi Viskari, CEO of DIMECC, Harri Kulmala, and the Creative Director of Demola Jere Wessman.


Tampere Triple Helix Workshop on “Soft Sciences Boosting SMEs’ Business”. 

On 2 October 2019, the Tampere Triple Helix Workshop of “Soft Sciences Boosting SMEs’ Business” was held by the Higher Education Group, Faculty of Management and Business, to share innovative thoughts and hands-on experience on how social sciences and humanities could support the business development of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The workshop was a pre-event for the 2020 Triple Helix International Conference, which will be held during 1517 June 2020 in Tampere University.  Dr Yuzhuo Cai, Adjunct Professor in Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University, and Associate Editor of the Triple Helix, chaired the workshop.  About fifty participants from the home institutions and others joined the event.
The workshop was opened by Juha Teperi, Vice President of Tampere University, followed by opening speeches by Päivi Myllykangas, Director of Innovation and Future, Council of Tampere Region, and Marianne Murto, Co-Founder of Value Creative and Entrepreneurship and Team leadership student from TAMK Proakatemia.

Professor Henry Etzkowitz gives Keynote Speech at the Workshop
(Photo by Jonne Renvall) 

Professor Henry Etzkowitz, founder of the concept of the Triple Helix Model of innovation, gave a keynote speech, which was followed by a panel discussion, chaired by Markku Sotarauta, Professor of Regional Studies at Faculty of Management and Business from Tampere University.  Panelists including Professor Henry Etzkowitz, Professor Johanna Kujala, Vice Dean of Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University, Mr Jere Wessman, Creative Director of Demola and Mr. Seppo Haataja, Program Director of Smart Tampere Ecosystem Program, Business Tampere.

Both keynote speech and panel discussion addressed the importance of social sciences and humanities in regional development, particularly in supporting business development.  The speakers and panelists identified that there is room for further exploration of the potentials of soft sciences in the field of business.  They noticed challenges in enhancing the soft sciences in regional innovation.  For instance, it can be difficult to measure the engagement of soft sciences in business development, and it takes time to build trust among the Triple Helix actors in order to realize this engagement.  It was stressed that the role of higher education institutions is not simply to serve the industrial needs, but also to address the challenges in the society where it is embedded.

Seminar on Building Synergies between Triple Helix related Research Projects

On 4 October 2019, a small size seminar on building synergies between Triple Helix related research projects was organized in Faculty of Management and Business in Tampere University.  Professor Johanna Kujala, Vice Dean of Faculty of Management and Business, Professor Nina Helander, Head of Information and Knowledge Management Unit, Faculty of Management and Business, and Adjunct Professor Yuzhuo Cai, Higher Education Group, Faculty of Management and Business, presented their projects in relation to the seminar topic.  Professor Henry Etzkowitz, attended the seminar as commentator.

Johanna Kujala presents CICAT 2025 Project
(Photo by Gaoming Zheng)

Professor Johanna Kujala presented a joint project of Finnish universities, Circular Economy Catalysts: From Innovation to Business Ecosystems (CICAT2025).  The project aims to facilitate the transition from a linear to a circular economy and supports Finland’s strategic objective to become a global leader in the circular economy by 2025.  Professor Kujala demonstrated in the implementation of the project, that they have taken into account different types of ecosystems and corresponding cases, different catalysts for development in the ecosystems, and different stakeholders’ interaction and engagement.  As an expert on stakeholder engagement theory, Professor Kujala maintained the core message of the project that stakeholders are co-creators, co-change agents, and co-disseminators.  It also changed our mindset from looking into problems to looking for solutions together through stakeholders’ engagement.


Professor Nina Helander continued to present the CORE project, another research project funded by Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland.  The project Collaborative remedies for fragmented societies – facilitating the collaborative turn in environmental decision-making (CORE) studies and develops collaborative action in environmental planning and decision-making.  The project is part of the SRC programme ‘Changing society and active citizenship’.  In order to measure collaboratively created value in environmental planning and decision making,
Professor Helander suggested a value measurement framework by considering the value expectation, procedural value, transactional value, substantive value, and normative value.

Yuzhuo Cai presents TIC-TUC Project
(Photo by Gaoming Zheng)

Finally, Adjunct Professor Yuzhuo Cai presented his new project on Hidden engine of transnational innovation ecosystems: synergy building between transnational industry cooperation and transnational, with funding being applied from the Academy of Finland.  The project aims to unravel the mechanisms of synergy building between transnational industry cooperation (TIC) and transnational university cooperation (TUC), as a hidden engine of transnational innovation ecosystems (TIS), by using Finland-China science, technology and innovation (STI) cooperation as the empirical context.

Participants after Seminar
(photo by Gaoming Zheng)


Stream Start-up Festival 2019

In addition to the two workshops, Henry Etzkowitz also attended the Stream Start-up Festival 2019 on 3 October 2020, held in the District of Hiedanranta.  The second ever Stream Startup Festival brought together over 750 startup souls to Tampere for a startup festival like no other.  The old industrial area of Hiedanranta was filled with the tools-of-growth.  Over 320 startups, 75 investors, 50 speakers, almost 600 meetings, 12 workshops and 100 volunteers.  The Festival and the development plan of Hiedanranta district demonstrated the dynamics of Triple Helix in the city.
During the week, Henry Etzkowitz was welcomed by representatives from Tampere University, including the President of Tampere University Mari Walls, Dean of Faculty of Management and Business Matti Sommarberg, and colleagues of Higher Education Group of Faculty of Management and Business.  All the meetings clearly show the commitment of Tampere University to hosting the Triple Helix International Conference.  Moreover, Henry had two meetings respectively with three potential sponsors of the 2020 Triple Helix Conference, namely the Vice President of Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Kirsi Viskari, CEO of DIMECC, Harri Kulmala, and the Creative Director of Demola Jere Wessman.


III International Triple Helix Summit
Bologna   ::   26 November 2020


We are proud to announce that the THA has signed an agreement with University of Bologna (Scientific coordinator) –, and Noema (PCO) – to host the III International Triple Helix Summit 2020 in Bologna, Italy.  The 2020 Summit will focus on the theme “Designing globally connected regional innovation ecosystems: overcoming barriers and opening pathways“.
New technological trends have significantly accelerated changes in the economy and society at a pace we have never experienced so far.  The convergence of much higher computing speeds and power, together with the digitalization of a vast amount of data is transforming existing businesses and practices and creating completely new ones.
Yet, feeding an ever-increasing population in a healthy and sustainable way, providing the energy needed to propel the daily life of billions of people, generating the resources needed to guarantee equitable growth for everyone, are world grand challenges that need to be tackled on a global scale.
This can’t be done in isolation.  We need new models of cooperation where Government, Industry, and Academia move across borders to join forces, steering the opportunities and reducing the hurdles in the right direction for our society at large.
Join us in Bologna at the 2020 Triple Helix Summit, where global leaders from academia, industry, and policy will discuss how to build and grow regional innovative ecosystems to tackle world grand challenges.
The website of the event, and the call for proposals will be online by mid-January 2020.
For more info, visit: *email address protected*


Second HLX4EU Workshop successfully
organized with ETHAC2019

This two-day workshop and conference on Boosting Innovation and Entrepreneurship, supporting the business growth strategies of the European Commission (in particular young innovative SMEs) focused on the determinants of developing entrepreneurial ecosystems in a European context by looking at how innovation can be better unleashed to the market.
A main sub-theme of the workshop consisted of the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and how can this act as an enable to make the stakeholders work together to achieve responsible and impactful outcomes.  It also covered the thorny issue of access to finance, presenting a panorama of the EU opportunities for funding innovative enterprises.  This covered more unconventional ways of financial support like business angels, venture capital and crowdfunding.  The workshop also covered the particular needs of SMEs and very small enterprises that form the backbone of the European economy.  The workshop was organized in parallel with the European Triple Helix Congress on Responsible Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ETHAC2019 in order to maximise the participation and co-creation potential with eminent stakeholders from the EU and beyond.  This way, the impact of the workshop is valid both nationally as well as at the EU-level.  146 participants from 35 countries (35% business, 55% academia (including students), 10% policy makers) co-created intensively for two days.

Key Highlights

In transition economy countries, university-business collaboration may be easier if it’s more business–driven.  However, this is not automatic and would require continuous effort from the other parts of the Triple Helix.
Thoughtful and carefully designed student–oriented initiatives are poised to lead to major gains on innovation policy design and drive universities and linked businesses to major breakthroughs.

Societal concerns that drive forward RRI are necessary elements for better connecting the academic and business communities on crucial issues, like public health and safety where biosciences play a crucial role.  New innovation policy initiatives and spending programmes need to find ways to integrate these societal dimensions better than in the past.  Gender balance in innovation development was identified as an important priority in relation to RRI.  Similarly (as part of RRI), transparency of research (public engagement) can also assist innovation, SMEs and entrepreneurs if the RRI concept is institutionalized.  RRI should also be treated in a territorial dimension as coupled with the smart specialization strategy (covering rural development) it could yield to regional growth and SWAFS Programme ambitions.  Additionally, RRI could help the EU to boost citizen’s trust in EU institutions and efforts.
New innovation policy initiatives and spending programmes need to be even more open to the international community taking into consideration cultural, social and economic traits that shape economies and societies.  This could be enabled by encouraging the introduction of focused, small-scale pilot projects, using TH principles to address issues of design and delivering EU policy or innovation and regional development.
Future business growth strategies need appropriate people-oriented components that would provide businesses and government services with the leaders that are able to drive forward the social and economic agendas of tomorrow.  The people-oriented components should contain measures to break down the identified cultural and organizational barriers (diverse background, culture, different languages; lack of trust; different agendas / diverging interests; poor or no information sharing; cooperation: facilitation is needed; lack of resources for the process; absorptive capacity of the organisations involved; lack of Incentives and means to collaborate).



THA and IASP still together for collaborative research

In early September THA and IASP renewed their mutual commitment to cooperate in 2019-2020 in order to generate collaborative research work to be published in the Triple Helix Journal.
IASP members will be assisted by THA researchers to sharpen their analysis and come up with compelling scientific publications based on their practical achievements.
THA members interested in working with IASP practitioners for paper co-authorship, can send an expression of interest to *email address protected*.



The Proceeding for the above Summit held in Dubai on 10-13 November 20017 are
now published by Springer and are available for purchase at:
Authors whose paper was included in the Proceedings, can ask or a free copy of the
book by sending an email to:


Exploring the Human Factor in Innovation at IASP Seville
(People, Communities and their Innovation Ecosystems)
6-9 October 2020


In the global knowledge economy, educated, skilled and creative individuals have become the greatest asset for companies, and the new spaces built for these companies must be designed with the needs and preferences of individuals in mind.  To succeed in their mission to provide the best location, facilities, and environment for knowledge-based companies, science parks and areas of innovation must create environments that are attractive to people as well.
This is why IASP’s next World Conference will centre on the theme “The Human Factor – people, communities and their innovation ecosystems”, bringing together experts from around the world to discuss the strategic implications of adopting a human-centred philosophy in science parks and areas of innovation.
Taking place from 6-9 October 2020 in the historic city of Seville, Spain, speakers at IASP Seville will tackle questions of how the focus on individuals as well as companies can influence both hard and soft services.
Among the key topics on the agenda is the future of jobs and jobs of the future, looking at how technology is transforming the frontier between the work performed by humans and the work performed by machines and algorithms, changing global labour markets.  Companies will need key locations to compete globally, and science parks and areas of innovation will need to review and rethink their strategies to attract, retain, create and help to grow companies in their ecosystems by providing the best talent and technology.
New technologies can drive business growth, job creation and demand for specialist skills, but they can also displace entire roles when certain tasks become obsolete or automated.  Managers of today’s innovation ecosystems will need to find strategies to help companies by providing the best pools of talent and technology, but also in helping both young and mature people to adjust and find jobs in the fast-changing future landscape of work.  IASP Seville will explore the many ways in which they go about this, and the opportunities and challenges of the jobs of the future.
Another track will examine how our industry can help to adapt education to these jobs of the future.  As the world of work undergoes a major process of change in both content and form, education will increasingly cross paths with innovation ecosystems.  STPs/AOIs and other innovation environments can be key learning spaces for education, and are an essential part of the “knowledge triangle”, an effort to integrate education, research and innovation as key drivers of a knowledge-based society.  In traditional classrooms students learn the knowledge accumulated by humanity.  In laboratories they experience how new knowledge is produced, and in STPs/AOIs, they can witness the complex process of transforming knowledge into tangible and intangible products that serve society’s purposes.  Global experts will analyse the role of the third learning space as innovative entrepreneurship consolidates itself as a key feature of the twenty-first century.
Debate at IASP Seville will also focus on how STPs help new start-ups to get off the ground through business incubation, increasing the success rate of high-risk ventures that have limited recourses, but strong technology-related products with global breakthrough potential.  Incubation has changed over time, with programmes shaped according to the evolving needs of start-ups and entrepreneurs, and the scientific programme will explore these changes, the new methodologies and services offered, assessing the value of sector-specific support and how investment opportunities could be integrated into incubators.
Fostering partnerships between start-ups and big corporations is another way in which innovation ecosystems contribute to a culture of entrepreneurship, bridging the differences between these unequal potential partners.  The challenge for STPs and AOIs is to attract both start-ups and corporates, and be fluent in both their languages.  IASP Seville will address the mechanisms that innovation ecosystems are using, such as mentorship programmes, open innovation encounters, B2B meetings and investment opportunities, to create disruptive opportunities for both sides.
No innovation ecosystem can flourish without a rich pool of talented individuals, and talent acquisition is another key area for STPs and AOIs that will be on the agenda in Seville.  To attract this talent, regions must offer a good quality of life and a range of job opportunities, factors which STPs and AOIs cannot always influence directly.  IASP Seville will explore how relationships with local authorities, universities and regional development agencies can help their regions to attract a highly qualified workforce, as well as retain local students and recent graduates via planned and managed internship and apprenticeship opportunities.  Contributions from global experts will help us to understand how innovation ecosystems help their cities and regions to attract talent, and the main challenges for managers when it comes to retaining that talent.

The conference will explore the changing profile of the new innovation ecosystem professionals as managers of talent and networks.  Whereas in the past, STP/AOI managers were largely concerned with infrastructure development, attracting anchor tenants, and the relationships between business, academia and government, this has changed.  Today, the STP/AOI manager must develop strategies to foster entrepreneurial talent, develop their staff as the organisation’s biggest asset, and manage a growing network of stakeholders and interest groups.  Speakers will discuss what type of management mindsets and skills are now best for the new innovation ecosystems, their position within the governance hierarchy, and the obstacles that they might meet when recruiting new talent for the top management positions.
A final track will take a philosophical and ethical overview of innovation ecosystems, encompassing discussions of how science and technology condition the shape and evolution of contemporary societies, and their effects on people’s lives.  Artificial Intelligence is developing dramatically, threatening to end a large number of jobs. Advances are being made in biotechnology to redesign living beings, and the perspective of applying biotechnology itself to the human being is now open.  Regenerative medicine and genomic medicine are making great progress to cure diseases that up to now resisted treatment, and to significantly extend human life: all this raises many ethical, social and political problems that must be addressed.
Join IASP’s global audience of experts in developing and managing innovation ecosystems, technology-based incubators, academia, the public sector and business, and explore these key themes at IASP Seville from 6-9 October 2020.

Visit to find out more.


Published by the Triple Helix Association  –  ISSN 2281-4515


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