The Triple Helix: University-Industry-Government Innovation In Action London: Routledge, (). Translations: Swedish (); Chinese (); Portuguese. The Triple Helix — University-Industry-Government Relations: A Laboratory for Knowledge Based Etzkowitz, Henry and Leydesdorff, Loet, The Triple Helix. PDF | On Jun 1, , Anders Broström and others published The Triple Helix: University–industry–government innovation in action – By Henry Etzkowitz.

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The triple helix model of innovation refers to a set of interactions between academia, industry and governments, to foster economic and social development. Bilateral interactions exist between university, industry and government. Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff argue that the initial role of universities is to provide education to individuals and basic research.

Therefore, interactions between university and industry revolve initially around those two elements. In a linear model of innovationuniversities are supposed to provide the research on which industry will build upon to produce commercial goods.

The other interactions take place through the involvement of industry managers and university faculty in both sectors. According to Etzkowitz, belix transfer of people between university and industry constitutes a very important transfer of knowledge.

This can be a permanent move in one direction or the other, or in other cases, entire careers spent between the two spheres. He gives the example of Carl Djerassia research director for a pharmaceutical company who joined Stanford University while continuing his industrial activity. However, other scholars have pointed out that consulting activities of faculty members could also have drawbacks, like a reduced focus on educating the students, and potential conflict of interests relating to the use of university resources for the benefit of industry.

Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff’s model uses a spectrum to define the extent of these interactions. On the one hand, when higher education is largely public, as in continental western Europe, the government has a higher influence on universities and the research they conduct by being the main source of funding.

Henry Etzkowitz’ Publications | Triple Helix Research Group

However, the two ends of this spectrum are used as ideal-types that are not necessarily reflective of the reality. In liberal economies the role of the government will be limited to preventing market failures. These are also two ends of a spectrum, leaving room for substantial variation, based on circumstances and disciplines. Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff initially argued that the strength of the interactions between governments, industry and university depends on which component is the driving force in the framework.


In a statist model, a strong state is driving interactions between the three components in a top-down implementation. In a laissez-faire model, in which the industry and market forces are the leading forces, the ties rriple weaker and each institution tends to remain very independent. However, the distinction between the two models is not always clear cut, as the government can choose to adopt a strong or a etkzowitz stance depending on the context and the industry.

Triple helix model of innovation – Wikipedia

Indeed, as innovation is increasingly based on scientific knowledge, the role of universities as creators of knowledge is more valued. The triple helix model of innovation also blurred the boundaries of the traditional basic roles of university, industry and government. According to Etzkowitz and Friple, this marks rtzkowitz second step in the triple helix of innovation framework. The next step is the emergence of intermediaries between the three elements as well as the hybridization of the three entities.

Technology transfer offices have been established by universities to foster the transformation of university basic or applied research with a commercial value into commercial goods. One of the aims of TTOs is to create some revenues for ehzkowitz university, thus enhancing its role as an economic actor.

However, the average profitability of TTOs remains very low.

On the other hand, they can be the result of a university initiative to attract industry, as was the case with the development of Stanford ‘s science park around the university or the Research Triangle in North Carolina. The ‘entrepreneurial university’ is another hybrid element which Etzkowitz defines around the following elements: Building on the triple helix model, the quadruple helix model adds a fourth component to the framework of interactions between ehzkowitz, industry and government: Carayannis and David F.


Indeed, trile framework claims that under the triple helix model, the emerging technologies do not always match the demands and needs of society, thus limiting their etxkowitz impact.

This framework emphasizes a societal responsibility of universities, in addition to their role of educating and conduction research. This is the approach that the European Union has intended to take for the development of a competitive knowledge-based society.

The triple helix model has been used as a lens through which evolving relationships between university, industry and government can be analyzed. But according to Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, it can also be a policy making tool.

Triple helix model of innovation

For example, Etzkowitz argues that after the end of the Soviet Era, triple helix inspired policies were implemented in Eastern Europe to promote their growth. In Sweden, the etxkowitz helix policy aimed at tying together innovation initiatives at different scales to increase their overall efficiency.

The triple helix model as a policy-making tool for economic growth and regional development has been criticized by many scholars. For instance, the model take for granted that knowledge intensive activities are linked to economic growth, that intellectual property rights will be protected, and that the state has a democratic and market oriented culture.

Further scholarly criticism of the model focuses on the conditions that enable the implementation of a triple helix innovation policy. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Newcastle University Business School. The Journal of Higher Education. The world before and after Bayh-Dole”. The Cold War and American science: Frederick Terman’s Model for Regional Advantage”. The Business History Review. European Union Committee of the Regions. An institutional logics perspective” PDF. Ftzkowitz from ” https: Date format Pages with DOIs inactive since Views Read Edit View history.

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