Message from the President of the Triple Helix Association (THA)

Dear Colleague,

The inauguration of the THA website marks the coming of age of the Triple Helix of university-industry-government interactions. The Triple Helix, originating as a metaphor, acknowledging the key actors in innovation systems, has developed into an internationally recognized model that is at the heart of the emerging discipline of innovation studies, and a guide to policy and practice at the local, regional, national and multi-national levels. The lesson of the Triple Helix is to examine local strengths and weaknesses and fill gaps in university-industry-government relationships as the basis for developing a successful innovation strategy. Identifying the generative source of knowledge-based economic and social development is the core of the Triple Helix Innovation project to enhance university-industry-government interactions (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, 2000[1]).

While government and industry have long been recognized as the base of industrial policy, the university has moved to the forefront in an era when knowledge is more quickly translated into practical uses, due to its polyvalent nature as simultaneously theoretical and practical (Etzkowitz and Viale, 2010[2]). Processes of technology transfer from theoretical findings that formerly took generations to accomplish now occur within the work life of the inventors, allowing them the possibility of participating in the innovation, as well as the research process. This phenomenon is a key argument for involving knowledge-creating institutions more closely in the innovation process.

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the University-Industry-Government Conferences Series and its predecessor, the University-Industry Conference Series, inaugurated in summer 1991 by a NATO-sponsored Workshop in Maratea, Italy, organized by the Science Policy Support Group, UK and the Fondazione Rosselli, Torino, it is appropriate to recognize the efforts of the conference organizers and particpants of the subsequent conferences: SUNY Purchase (1992), UNAM, Mexico City (1993), Amsterdam (1996), New York, (1998) Rio de Janeiro (2000), Copenhagen/Lund (2002); Torino (2005), Singapore (2007), Glasgow (2009) and Madrid (2010).  These conferences have generated over a thousand papers, a plethora of special journal issues and books.

We would like to welcome your participation in the activities of the Association, in the expectation that the next two decades will generate even greater accomplishments in Triple Helix theory and practice, including the forthcoming launch of the Triple Helix Innovation Quarterly (THIQ), our association journal. Membership is now open at the individual and organizational levels. Please fill out the form  (Membership) and join like-minded colleagues internationally in shaping the future of the Triple Helix movement.

Henry Etzkowitz
Loet Leydesdorff

[1] Etzkowitz, H. and L. Leydesdorff (2000),The dynamics of innovation: from National Systems and ‘Mode 2’ to a Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations Research Policy, 29 (2): 109-123.

[2] Etzkowiz, H. and R. Viale (2010), ‘Polyvalent knowledge and the entrepreneurial university: a third academic revolution?’, Critical Sociology 36 (4): 595-609.