Some preliminary highlights from the International Triple Helix Conference 2017

The Triple Helix Conference in Daegu and the ICT Fair opening 

Author: Dr Christiane Gebhardt

The 2017 15th Triple Helix Conference, in Daegu, South Korea with the theme The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Design Thinking, and the Triple Helix, organized by Triple Helix Association and Asialics Korea

was a very successful conference with a highly reflective participants, many fruitful discussions that were aming at the future of research and the role of research in societies. The conference was linked to the important fair in Daegu, ICT Convergence Expo Korea 2017, that introduced ICT products and smart systems.

The triple helix community in Daegu faced the challenge that system based transformation and ICT convergence will speed up the transformation process and that three research strategies might be needed: one to find scientific value and science based solutions for current challenges; one that contributes to understanding the dimension of future challenges and the change dimension (in sectors like automotive and research and logistics etc.) and one to understand the transformation process and provide research scenarios for it. The latter will rely on new integrative methods (qualitative and quantitative on different levels macro- organisation and individual).

Roundtable on S&T Innovation in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

So Young Kim (KAIST), Doogap Yi (Seoul National University) and Jongmin Lee (University of S&T) pointed out that there are not technological revolutions, they are always social technical revolutions and now there is a open pathway to redefine the role of the universities, government, and industries in the Triple Helix and their interface interface in the governance of emerging technologies.

Henry Etzkowitz presented the main concepts of Triple Helix Model and discussed the Silicon Valey Paradox and its dangers as growth model after a start-up phase for regional development. How to develop the Triple Helix in a balanced way? Will it come to an end (lock ins: high rents will hamper the proximity factor; the lack of political governance and tax income for the public infrastructure and educational system on state level; increasing structural disparities, etc.). Or: Will ICT further fuel this Californian innovation centre? (developmental process, transfer of the concept…).

We had interesting papers based on the social network analysis which opened the discussion on what we measure when working with social media data. Not only is the integration of disciplines necessary for future research but the TH community must take the perspective of others in order develop research methods to capture empirical data and to build new heuristics.

  • Introduction of Belief systems/constructivism for analysing big data and communications patterns (linguistics, Humanities and social science).
  • How to use Behavioural data and big data analytics in social sciences.
  • The value of a historical (longitudinal) studies to find patterns in TH development and characteristics.
  • Society and Governance not as a forth helix but analyse the context, embededness of triple helix constellation either thematic or regional and as a relation to the innovation system discourse.
  • The value and limits of neo-institutional, functional and systemic approaches as explanatory elements for TH.
  • More knowledge (and research design development) on TH implementation


Global entrepreneurial University Metrics (GEUM) session outcomes

Current university ranking model that only consider the teaching and research dimension, GEUM incorporates the entrepreneurial activities conduct by universities to promote economic and social development. The Global Entrepreneurial University Metrics Initiative (GEUM) is a research project that aims to develop a set of metrics to evaluate the entrepreneurial university.

The GEUM sessions allows for discussion around some key questions as below:

How do we embed the idea of an entrepreneurial university and sustainable regional development in the current university rankings? How do we build a system model of different indicators? (System dynamics? – Can AI research help here?)

The next GEUM workshop will be in June 2018, in UK.

The University-Industrial Collaboration for the 4th Industrial Revolution session discussion

Organized by National Research Tomsk State University, Russia with researchers from Finland, China, this session emphasizes the new requirements for cooperation between companies and universities. Several questions emerged during the presentations and discussion:

  • What is the impact of different innovation policies and policies instruments and programs in regions? – over the time! (Japan SNA).
  • Will regional innovation policies continue in times of political change? How will the context of international relations affect regional innovation policies.
  • How do we manage triple helix networks on the organizational and individual level?
  • Do we need new organisational structures and new knowledge in organizational development?
  • Was the institutional approach a research design bias?
  • How will generational change affect leadership of networks and hierarchies in organizations?
  • What will digital transformation do to the future of work, the society and to the international division of work?


THA Working Paper Series (WPS) session outcomes

The discussion with the session attendees pave the ground for a re-shaping of the current WPS format and scope in order to better address the needs of researchers involved in innovative and  multidisciplinary research activities.

Triple Helix will set up SPIRAL, a new element to give students, faculty and other the opportunity to validate research ideas in the TH community.

SPIRAL, as indicted by its name, will be an open innovation platform for exchanging and growing research ideas, as well as expanding research collaboration.

Though having good research ideas, many researchers could not further carry them on and eventually develop them as published work for many reasons, such as less maturation of the research ideas (especially when the idea is too innovative), insufficient required knowledge (when the research requires multi-disciplinary perspectives),  and lack of time or other resources. SPIRAL is aimed to overcome these challenges.

Yuzhou Cai, Rhiannon Pugh and Po Yang will set up this innovative tool to identify and discuss new research and to find partner in the TH community.


New special issues of the Triple Helix Journal are coming up and are open to authors contributions:

1/Topical Collection – Institutions, Intermediation and Triple Helix Relationships

Guest Editors: Emanuela Todeva, Henry Etzkowitz, Mark Casson

Lead editor: Emanuela Todeva,

2/Topical Collection – Individuals in the Triple Helix

Guest Editors: Rhiannon Pugh and Yuzhuo Cai;

3/Topical collection – Measuring Triple Helix Synergies and Innovations using Scientometric, Technometric, Informetric, Webometric, and Altmetric Data

Guest Editors: Han Woo Park & Yeongsub Nam (

Associate Editors: Managing Guest Editors (MGE)

Dr. Jiang Li, Zhejiang University, China,

Miyoung Chong, University of North Texas, USA,

 4/Topical collection — Innovation Cooperation between Large and Small Firms: Operational Models

Guest Editors In Chief :Dr. Annika Steiber, A.S. Management Insights AB, USA,

Assoc. Prof. Sverker Alänge, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden,

Associate Editors: Managing Guest Editors (MGE)


The next XVI International Triple Helix Conference will be held in Manchester on 5-8 September 2018  on the Theme „Triple Helix and beyond – a new era“ and will be hosted by a coalition of institutions, led by Corridor Manchester,  including the University of Manchester , Manchester Metropolitan University , Marketing Manchester and Conference partners international. The Conference brings together academia, government, business, and community to share effective practices and to advance the frontiers of knowledge about collaboration for economic progress, social development and sustainability, and the role of cities and regions as enabling spaces for these interactions.

Key Dates

Abstract Submissions Open
October 2017

Abstract Submissions Close
Friday 9th February 2018

Early Bird Deadline
Monday 11th June 2018