The Triple Helix of innovations: neo-institutional and neo-evolutionary models for explaining the absence or presence of systemness at regional and national levels

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Loet Leydesdorff
Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), University of Amsterdam
Thursday, 17 January 2013 - 12:00

Non-linearities in systems of innovations can be explained in terms of composing sub-dynamics. University-industry-government relations, for example, can be analyzed in terms of institutional networks among agents or functional synergies among scientific novelty production, economic wealth generation, and normative control as communication systems. One can raise the question to what extent “systemness” can be retained from these interacting dynamics at regional or national levels.

Using studies about the Netherlands (2006), Germany (2006), Hungary (2011), Norway and Sweden (2012), I discuss the use of the Triple Helix indicator for this purpose. The Triple Helix indicator can be generalized in terms of interactions among other functionalities such as “need determination” (e.g., diseases), “supply side factors” (e.g., drugs), and “infrastructures” (e.g., equipments), using units of analysis other than firms.


Ciudad Politécnica de la Innovación
Edificio 8E, Acceso J, Planta 3ª (Salón de Actos. Cubo Rojo)
Universidad Politécnica de Valencia | Camino de Vera s/n

Short CV: 

Loet Leydesdorff (Ph.D. Sociology, M.A. Philosophy, and M.Sc. Biochemistry) is Professor at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) of the University of Amsterdam. He is Visiting Professor of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (ISTIC) in Beijing and Honorary Fellow of the Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU) of the University of Sussex. He has published extensively in systems theory, social network analysis, scientometrics, and the sociology of innovation (see for a list of publications at

With Henry Etzkowitz, he initiated a series of workshops, conferences, and special issues about the Triple Helix of University-Industry-Government Relations. He received the Derek de Solla Price Award for Scientometrics and Informetrics in 2003 and held “The City of Lausanne” Honor Chair at the School of Economics, Université de Lausanne, in 2005. In 2007, he was Vice-President of the 8th International Conference on Computing Anticipatory Systems (CASYS’07, Liège).