III Triple Helix Summit goes Virtual

Given the uncertainty connected to the COVID-19 pandemic spread, and the successful experience of the 18th International Triple Helix Virtual Conference, the THA and the host of the III International Triple Helix Summit, have decided to move the Summit Online, in order to guarantee the safe delivery of the event.

The Summit will be organized online during 24-26 November 2020.


The III International Triple Helix 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. 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.

We need new models of cooperation where Government, Industry and Academia move cross borders to join forces, steering the opportunities and reducing the hurdles in the right direction for our society at large.

At the 2020 Triple Helix Virtual Summit global leaders from academia, industry and policy will discuss how to build and grow regional innovative ecosystems to tackle world grand challenges.


Here is a (non-exhaustive list) of the themes to be discussed:

  • Boosting sustainable development through smart partnerships
  • Building and growing regional innovation ecosystems through industrial specialization and collaborations
  • Responsible research and innovation, stakeholders’ engagement and social innovation practices in regional ecosystems
  • Empowering local communities through big data, internet of things and artificial intelligence
  • Global and local impacts of entrepreneurial universities
  • Finding a balance between urban and rural sustainable development
  • Building the cities of the future trough smart infrastructures and sustainable planning
  • Industry 4.0 and the next manufacturing revolution
  • Circular economy, industrial symbiosis and ecosystem services for the sustainable development of regions, cities and industrial districts
  • Triple Helix model of innovation addressing societal crises: building resilience in regional innovation ecosystems.


Triple Helix Association

The Triple Helix concept was initiated in the 1990s by Henry Etzkowitz and Loet Leydesdorff, who analyzed a shift from a predominant industry-government dyad in an Industrial Society to a triadic university-industry-government relationship (Triple Helix) in the Knowledge Society. This model presents an opportunity to achieve innovation outcomes for the socio-economic good through the collaboration with multi-stakeholders within academia, industry and government.

The Triple Helix Association (THA) is a non-for-profit, non-governmental association with scientific purpose and a global reach. Its main scope is to advance the scientific knowledge and practical achievements related to all aspects of the interaction between academy-industry-government (Triple Helix) for fostering research, innovation, entrepreneurship, economic competitiveness and growth.

University of Bologna
Department of Management

The Department of Management aims to increase and disseminate the managerial culture, fostering innovation. It is a point of reference for teaching and research in the fields of Business Economics, Economics of Financial Intermediaries, Economics and Business Management, Business Finance, Engineering Management, Business Organisation and Commodity Sciences.


Emilia Romagna Region and ART-ER

Attractiveness Research Territory is the Emilia-Romagna Joint Stock Consortium that was born from the merger of ASTER and ERVET, with the purpose of fostering the region’s sustainable growth by developing innovation and knowledge, attractiveness and internationalization of the region system.



Entrepreneur & President of Bonfiglioli Group
Cavaliere del Lavoro (Order of Merit for Labor)
Mechanical Engineer
Married, 2 children

Entrepreneur, degree in mechanical engineering, MBA at Profingest (now BBS), AMP Advanced Management Program at IESE, Certificate in Finance at London Business School, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Bonfiglioli Riduttori S.p.A.
Daughter of the entrepreneur Clementino Bonfiglioli, founder of the Bonfiglioli Group, Sonia Bonfiglioli grew up alongside her father and learned to love the business. She joined the company in 1982 and was appointed to the Board of Directors.
On completion of her studies in 1992, she devoted herself entirely to the company.
She was appointed Managing Director in 2008 and became Chairwoman of the Group after her father’s death in 2010.
Formed in Bologna in 1956, the Bonfiglioli Group today is present in over 80 countries and on 5 continents. The Group has 20 subsidiaries, 13 production plants and 3780 employees worldwide.



Lausanne Switzerland

Dominique Foray is full Professor, Chair of Economics and Management of Innovation, and Dean of the College of Management of Technology at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland).
He is also Vice-President of the Swiss Science Council and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Swiss Economic Research Institute (at ETH Zurich).
Between 2008 and 2012, he served as Chairman of Knowledge for Growth – a high-level expert group of the European Commission. This is during this period that he developed the concept of “smart specialisation”. This concept has been operationalized in the framework of the cohesion policy in the EU and is now the base of a large scale industrial policy experiment in most European regions.



Carlson School of Management University of Minnesota USA

Shaker A. Zahra is the Robert E. Buuck Chair of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Strategy in the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. He is also the academic director of the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship. His research focuses on international entrepreneurship, dynamic capabilities in global technology industries, digital platforms and business ecosystems, and dynamics of ecosystem disruptions. Widely published and cited, his research has appeared in all Academy of Management publications (Journal, Review, Annals, Discoveries, Learning & Education, Executive and Perspectives), Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Research Policy, and Journal of Business Venturing, among others. He has served on two dozen editorial boards and served as guest editor of several others. His research has received several honors, grants and awards (including 5 honorary Ph.D.s and the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research). He served also the Academic Director of Babson Conference and Chair of the Academy of Management’s Entrepreneurship Division. He is a fellow of the Academy of Management and several other organizations.


Director, Biocentre Finland, Member of the Board of the European Innovation Council (EIC) and former Member of the Governing Board of the EIT (European Institute of Technology) (FI)



The call for submission for abstracts and special sessions (panel and workshop) has been closed with 23 special session proposals and 45 asbtracts of academic papers, cases and posters accepted by the Scientific Committee of the Summit for includsion in the program.
The program will stretch over 3 days from 12.00 to 19.15 CET. In order to accommodate all the different time zones of our presenters.
The program will be available online in the week 19-23 October at this link https://triplehelixsummit2020.triplehelixassociation.org/program/program/

Beside keynotes, papers, practical cases and posters, the Summit program will include a series of Special Sessions, being them::
Panels: 50 minutes online debate around a specific topic related to the Summit themes, amongst a selected group of minimum three panelists representing the prospective of Academia, Government and Industry. The following 18 Panel proposals have been accepted for inclusion in the program:

  • The university of the future and the future of universities: how the regional context matters (Bologna Universtity, IT)
  • Quebec and Emilia-Romagna triple helix dialogue to empower innovation ecosystems through big data and artificial intelligence (Italian Delegation of Quebec, CA; and Emilia Romagna Region/ART-ER, IT)
  • Triple Helix model of innovation for addressing societal crises: building innovation ecosystem resilience – the regional approach (CEA – High Level Forum, FR)
  • Student entrepreneurship: how students and graduates’ career trajectories enable knowledge spill-overs from university to industry (University of Bermano, IT)
  • Research ecosystems for shared value (Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini, IT)
  • Testing new technologies and creating consensus in Living Laboratories: experiences in European car industry (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, IT)
  • Triple Helix model of innovation for addressing societal crises: building innovation ecosystem resilience – the collaborative international approach (CEA; High Level Forum, FR)
  • Triple helix cooperation as opportunity for innovative digitalization in Industry 4.0 for manufacturing: the case of SBDIO I4.0 in the Emilia-Romagna Region (Interdepartmental Center for Industrial Research in ICT – CIRI ICT, IT)
  • Challenges and perspectives of digital transformation in the triple helix system: implications for society (Turan University, KZ)
  • Workers, entrepreneurs and economic psychology: the research agenda at Inapp (INAPP, IT)
  • The network of Emilia-Romagna Technopoles and its role as facilitator: success cases of collaboration between companies, research and technology transfer centers (Regional network of Emilia-Romagna Technopoles, IT)
  • The Future of Science Parcks and the emergence of Science Cities (Drees & Sommer, CH)
  • The Triple Helix Model applied to Cluster Initiatives to Go Global (ART-ER – Emilia-Romagna Region)
  • Student Entrepreneurship (University of Ferrara, IT)
  • Opportunities of cooperation between HEIs and development agencies (EUDARA, BL)
  • Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 – A holistic approach to the impact of exponential technologies on society, economics, regulator and business model. (University of San Paulo, BR)
  • Building resilience in regional innovation ecosystems: THA COVID-19 international research initiative (Technologico de Monterrey, MX)
  • Who should take the responsibility for bridging the gap between Big Data and meeting societal challenges? (The Big Data Association and the International Foundation Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for Human Development – IFAB, IT)

Sponsored Workshops: 50 minutes presentation of practice/results achieved by an organization/ consortium, consistent with the Summit themes. Proponents could be either organizations involved in Public funded projects looking for dissemination opportunities or other organizations interested in showcasing their practices. The following 5 Sponsored workshop proposals have been accepted and included in the program:

  • Triple helix initiative towards the Emilia-Romagna Hydrogen Valley (Associazione Clust-ER Energia e Sviluppo Sostenibile | GREENTECH, IT)
  • Introducing RRI principles to enhance regional innovation policies, including RIS3 (European Science Foundation, FR)
  • The LOOP-Ports project: how a network of ports can contribute to circular economy transition. (TECNOPOLO di RAVENNA-CIFLA, IT)
  • Implementing grounding actions for institutional changes in Research and Innovation organisations using the RRI approach” (European Science Foundation, FR)
  • Digtal Twins for Industry and Facility Management (IoTwins Project) (ART-ER, IT)



Standard (presenter with a paper, case, poster or in a panel/workshop) € 190*
Student (presenter with a paper, case, poster or in a panel/workshop) € 80*
THA member (without a paper, case, poster, panel/workshop) Free
* 22% VAT not included * 22% VAT not included

The updated online registration form will be available soon.

Triple Helix Association members without a paper/poster/panel/workshop presentation can attend for free. Note, that a confirmation code will be required at registration.

If you are a THA individual member, you are entitled to one free ticket, whilst organizational members can benefit from five free tickets.

You can subscribe to any Triple Helix Association membership level at: https://www.triplehelixassociation.org/membership (individual fee 60€, or 30€ for students; organizational fee 225€), and immediately receive the right to attend the Triple Helix Summit free of charge as a non-presenting delegate.

Two events at once to boost your network

We are pleased to inform that this year the III International Triple Helix Summit will be connected to Triple Helix Summit 2020 | Virtual Brokerage Event, taking place online on 23th November as an Enterprise Europe Network event.
Registration are open. Go to this link https://triple-helix-summit-2020.b2match.io/ for further information.
What is a Brokerage Event? (watch short animated video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ1ijQFJtQU& ).
A matchmaking event is a quick and easy way to meet potential cooperation partners in face-to-face talks. You can create your individual agenda composed of 30-minute meetings booked in advance.

Summit delegates can register free of charge to the Virtual Brokerage Event to boost their networking and discuss the possibility to launch new project ideas via international collaboration!
THEMES of the b2b meetings (selection of themes from the Summit):

  • Empowering local communities through big data, internet of things and artificial intelligence
  • Building the cities of the future through smart infrastructures and sustainable planning
  • Industry 4.0 and the next manufacturing revolution
  • Circular Economy, Industrial symbiosis and ecosystem services for the sustainable development of regions, cities and industrial districts



Published by the Triple Helix Association  –  ISSN 2281-4515

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