Over recent years we have seen the emergence of hybrid organisations that blur the institutional boundaries between university, industry and government.
Some analysts are suggesting that knowledge spaces, which focus on collaboration of different actors to improve local conditions for innovation, may provide new ways of producing knowledge that combines both relevance and scientific excellence.
The rise of ‘centres for excellence and relevance’, ‘collaborative research centres’ or ‘centres of competence’ can be taken as indicators for this new landscape.
Etzkowitz’s (2008) distinguishes three types of Triple Helix spaces:
- Knowledge spaces, which focus on collaboration to improve local conditions for innovation by concentrating on related R&D activities and other relevant operations
- Consensus spaces, that create ideas and strategies through multiple reciprocal relationships
- Innovation spaces, which realise the goals and attract venture capital.
The authors compare several triple helix spaces to elucidate the factors that make them successful.
What makes an ideal‐type Triple Helix Space?
- Set up with a high level of autonomy, e.g., as a legal and independent entity,
- Integrate a large, possibly cluster‐level or technology‐focused network,
- Adopt interaction practices to support collaboration between heterogeneous actors,
- Act as a neutral place, the strategic direction of which is collaboratively set by partners representing diverse cluster actors,
- Engage in consensus building by defining a research and innovation agenda for its area,
- Involve in influencing the ecosystem in pursuit of developing an environment conducive for cluster performance,
- Drive change and collaboration by defining and implementing large‐scale research programmes,
- Act as a hub for intermediary and innovation activities, covering most if not all of them.
Towards new Triple Helix organisations? A comparative study of competence centres as knowledge, consensus and innovation spaces Martin Meyer, Jari Kuusisto, Kevin Grant, Muthu De Silva, Stephen Flowers, Umair Choksy.