Preliminary highlights from the successful XVI Triple Helix Conference 2018, Manchester

The XVI International Triple Helix Conference, hosted this year in Manchester, is just ended and we would like to provide our community with some preliminary highlights on this successful Meeting.

Almost 300 delegates from about 40 countries attended the Conference. We had more than 55 sessions or special panels, 18 entries for the Best Paper competition, 16 posters registered for display, 1 master class, and several tours. Multiple sponsors have been involved. The conference was truly diverse, with a broad gender balance across all aspects (Scientific Committee, Keynote Speakers, Session Chairs, and Presenters) and significant representation of Early Career Researchers (ERC),  including those supported by more than 35 ECR travel scholarships  provided by the University of Manchester Hallsworth Conference Fund.


Among the highlights of the conference were Luke Georghieu’s discussion of 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 on  comparative university-industry modalities.

The Manchester Triple Helix Conference was a great success not merely measured by the large number of participants and sessions/panels. The conference’s triumph lies in its intellectual outcomes contributing to a multidisciplinary community for exploring optimal approaches to developing innovation society. In the Manchester conference, were extensively shared the insights and experience of both scholars from a variety disciplinary fields and practitioners engaged in different arears of innovation development. The convergence of ideas from different research fields and innovation sectors largely created opportunities for innovation in research and practice of innovation. Throughout over 20 years of developing the Triple Helix community, the Manchester conference also became a place in which one can see the results of intellectual innovation of the multidisciplinary community.  For instance, there are:

  • renewal of Triple Helix model by strengthening its theoretical basis using the insights of multiple disciplines, such as economics, management, sociology and geography,
  • convincing synergy building between the Triple Helix model and other similar concepts such as innovation eco-system and Quadruple Helix, etc, and
  • novel methodological approaches to Triple Helix, for instance the Living Lab, machine leaning and network analysis of social media.

All  these tend to further mature the Triple Helix model and realise its potential in guiding both research and practice on innovation.

A full report of intellectual highlights follows in the upcoming issue of Helice.

The THA gives all its appreciation to the organizations which 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 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, Sally Radles from Manchester Metropolitan University;
  • all the volunteers who supported the Local Organizing Committee
  • the Professional Conference Organizer, Conference Partners International for an excellent curation of the Conference communication & logistics.


A Glamorous finale for the THC2018 at  the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry where the THA presented its Awards for:

  • Most Committed THA volunteer recognition Award 2017, to Ms Sheila Forbes. The concerned award recognizes the special and long lasting contribution of a THA volunteer


  • Best Paper Award 2017, to Dr Georg Fuerlinger for the article “The role of the state in the entrepreneurship ecosystem:
    insights from Germany”.  The concerned award recognizes the most valuable paper published in THA Triple Helix Journal in 2017.

  • 2018 Early Career Researcher Best Paper Award and 2 Runners up, respectively to Mr. Sergio Manrique, for the paper “Personal Networks and Trust in Public-Private R&D Partnerships: A Case Study from Spain” (Winner) and to Ms. Qianqian Zhang for the paper “Design of A Virtual Network Organization for University-enterprise-government Cooperative Scientific Research Projects with University-dominant Model” and to Ms. Oishee Kundu and and Mr. Nicholas Matthews for the paper “The Role of Charitable Funding in University Research” (Runners up). The concerned 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.


Congratulations to all the winners!