8. Individuals in the Triple Helix

Track conveners – Rhiannon Pugh, Uppsala University, Finland, pugh.rhiannon@gmail.com
and Yuzhuo Cai, Tampere University, Finland, Yuzhuo.Cai@staff.uta.fi.

The triple helix thesis posits that for innovation and economic development outcomes at the local, regional, and national scale, universities, industry and government need to work together and form strong partnerships and co-operation. Evidence is cited of regions, institutions, and indeed nations that have successfully harnessed the power of the triple helix to bring about economic growth in the knowledge economy, the most commonly cited examples being the global exemplar regions such as Silicon Valley, Route 128, and Cambridge UK. This is partnered by in-depth studies of particular programmes or interventions, or institutions that have successfully engaged in this sphere of activity. However, whilst triple helix relationships and spaces are commonly discussed and heralded as they key to economic success, there is little actual investigation of what these interactions look like at the individual level, and what the reality of implementing the triple helix actually looks like “on the ground”.

There is relatively little work in opening up the black box of the triple helix to examine the relationships and experiences therein. This Special Issue attempts to redress that balance, and uncover the experience of those working on the coalface of the triple helix trying to manage those relationships and ensure productive outcomes. It aims to link up different levels of analysis but shine a light on an often-overlooked area of study into individual engagement in triple helix activities. Contributions from a range of fields and perspectives are welcomed, which illuminate the role of individuals within the triple helix. More specifically, we would be particularly keen to explore – albeit not exclusively – the following topics:

What theoretical/conceptual frameworks can help better understanding individual engagement in Triple Helix activities?
Who are the key individual actors engaged in the Triple Helix interactions and what are their major activities?
How could the analysis of Triple Helix activities at the individual level and studies at the policy and organisational levels supplement each other?
How to design the policy and organizational structures to facilitate the individuals’ involvement and engagement in Triple Helix activities?
What are the roles of students in their contribution to innovation from the perspective of Triple Helix model?
What challenges confronted by academics when engaging in university-industry collaboration activities?
What are the conflicting norms and cultures for individuals engaging in Triple Helix activities?
We welcome submissions on these topics, or indeed other interesting dimensions of individuals’ participation in the triple helix from international colleagues.

This topic will also be the subject of a special issue in the Triple Helix Journal. As such, participants are encouraged to prepare their papers for submission to the journal following the conference.