Trip Report by linzhengnd


									                                            Trip Report

Triple Helix VIII Conference, Madrid, Spain, October 20-22, 2010

James J. Zuiches, Vice Chancellor,
Extension, Engagement and Economic Development
NC State University
November 11, 2010

The theme of this 2010 Triple Helix Conference was “University, Industry and Government
Linkages- the Development of Cities of Knowledge, Expanding Communities and Connecting

The Triple Helix Conference, with its 130 papers, 38 posters, over 320 participants from 38
countries, reflects an ongoing discussion of the different roles of these three institutional sectors
in economic, social, environmental and human development. The host of the conference this
year was La Salle Innovation Park, whose motto is “Innovating Services for People.” Starting
with over 320 applications, the review committee selected the 168 presentations. Of the 130
formal papers, five were from NC State University, three from the faculty and graduate students
associated with Denis Gray, Department of Psychology, and my two papers.

The Concept of the Triple Helix. During the opening plenary session, Henry Etkowitz and
Loet Leydesdorff provided background on the theory and operational definitions of the Triple
Helix. The Triple Helix concept emphasizes the role of the university in providing the
knowledge space for creativity that leads to economic development. Etkowitz also envisioned
the university playing the role of the “other” – as convener of networks, while the government
served as funders of networks, and the private sector and industry as the executor of the actions
of networks. As he continued to think about the intersection of these institutional spheres of the
state, industry, and the academy, he theorized that one might also think of the university as
creating spaces: a knowledge space for R&D, the consensus space for discussion of networks,
and an innovation space for the leadership to create new hybrid organizations such as Science
and Technology Parks, Incubators, and Venture Firms. This focus on the university as providing
these types of spaces changes the relationship of the university to government and the private

Etkowitz has argued for a new model of higher education from the original trivium of grammar,
rhetoric and logic to 1) expertise in a scientific or technical field, 2) entrepreneurship and
innovation, and 3) knowledge of a second language or culture.

Loet Leydesdorff provided further theoretical underpinning arguing that Triple Helix is derived
from Schumpeter and his economic model that focused on the university for its knowledge
creation, innovation and novelty, the markets for wealth generation, and governance bodies for
legislation and regulation of the processes. He argued that we have switched in the 21st Century
from a focus on geographic and natural resources and physical proximity to a cognitive
proximity and a knowledge base independent of space. Both of them discussed the fact that this

is a dynamic model moving from an integration of spheres to a differentiation and potentially
separation and disintegration of spheres with subsequent unintended consequences. As a
dynamic model they argued for the co-evolution of these three intersecting spheres and the self-
organization of the communication flows at the intersections.

Conference Themes and Presentations.
Since one of the themes was the role of Science and Technology Parks and Regional
Development Strategies, I submitted a paper on “NC State University Centennial Campus as an
Experiment in Public/Private Partnerships” and spoke about the organization of the campus, the
university leadership role and its impacts on job creation and economic development. Our model
contrasts sharply with the major plenary session discussing the Science and Technology Park at
San Sebastian, Spain, in which the government provided the leadership to the park. Other major
university parks that were discussed were the University of Central Florida, with its nine
different incubators, Cornell University with its science and technology focus, Stanford
University, and Edinburgh University with its Technopole, basically a real estate play. NC
State’s organizational structure is much more integrated and ranges from The Garage as
incubator for students, to the Technology Incubator managed by the Industrial Extension Service.
Our new Springboard organizational structure provides a much better vehicle for entry, access,
and impact of our research and extension and engagement programs on job creation. One
nonprofit in Spain that was described by Julian Florez was called Vicomtech, a nonprofit
consisting of about 100 people whose assignment is to accelerate technology transfer and
knowledge transfer.

The second paper that I presented at the conference was on “Seed grants as incentives” for
faculty to undertake program development in the area of extension and engagement. This paper
was well received with lots of discussion about faculty commitment, success at writing larger
grants, building partnerships, and the long-term impact of the seed grant program.

Denis Gray and his colleagues presented a number of papers, as they are evaluators of the NSF
IUCRC’s, a model for research and industry funded enterprises. Denis and his graduate students
have identified issues such as why firms join, the readiness to join and their absorptive capacity,
and the impacts of participation in such CRC’s. They have looked at scale effects, leadership
effects, and the impact of institutional support on such centers.

IBM was a major sponsor of the Triple Helix Conference in Spain and IBM Spain had a plenary
session and a targeted session talking about Smart Cities and IBM’s innovations and solutions
for major urban issues.

Jerome Engel, University of California, Berkeley, spoke about models of innovation and in
particular innovation in services and the difference between big companies and start up
companies. He noted that both might start with the same elements of a business platform,
standard processes, products and services, and people, but the scale would have a significant
impact on their ability to handle some costs, tolerate diversity, be flexible and commercialize

Cornelis Vis, European Commission, talked about the three variations on growth:
     Smart growth derived from knowledge-based innovation
     Sustainable growth focused on efficient, greener technologies
     Inclusive growth in which both human capital and skill development as well as youth
        programming contributed to higher employment across the board
Without integration of these three models of growth, he argued that society has the potential for
significant unrest and unemployment.

One Plenary session was organized by Marina Ranga, Stanford University, and focused on
gender issues in the Triple Helix. The speakers primarily emphasized the change in enrollment
and participation in the university of women in higher education, the increased female
participation in the labor force, and the failure to recognize the role of women in technology
development, patenting, and job creation and as entrepreneurs. This was an interesting plenary-
of the 75 people who attended out of 320 participants, 60 were women and 15 were men.

Next Steps:

Henry Etkowitz announced that the Triple Helix meetings, which had been held every other year,
are now moving to an annual basis. The 2011 conference will be held at Stanford University,
July 11-14, 2011. The 2012 conference will be held in Indonesia. If an organization or
university wishes to host the 2013 conference, the deadline for submission of a competitive bid is
April 30, 2011. Given the fact that Stanford will be hosting the conference in 2011 and this is
only the second time it has returned to the United States in the last ten years, it is unlikely that
the US will be selected for a hosting responsibility in 2013. Although this may be the case,
NCSU may want to submit an application for 2013 to get in the queue for future consideration, in
2014 or 2015. We should discuss this option and strategy.

Henry Etkowitz is currently at Stanford University as is Marina Ranga, and both are located in
the Center for Innovation and Communication, H-Star Institute, which helps explain the selection
of Stanford for next year.

NCSU and Triple Helix. Of the 10 US representatives at the Triple Helix conference, five were
from NC State University. Denis Gray has been actively involved for the last 10 years and I
have been more actively involved in the last two years.

We have tremendous capacity in the region and we may want to hold a mini summit or workshop
that brings Henry Etkowitz in as a keynote speaker to listen to his ideas and expose him to the
breadth of our work and our innovative organizational structures in the Research Triangle and at
NC State. It would be easy to argue that RTP may be the world’s best personification of a Triple
Helix region.

In partnership with faculty at other Triangle and regional universities, as well as our own
expertise, we could organize a one day symposium. Other regional faculty participants might
include Al Link, University of North Carolina – Greensboro; Wes Cohen, Duke University;
Maryann Feldman, UNC –Chapel Hill, all of whom are colleagues of Denis Gray, NC State

University. If we did so, we could build on the Springboard model and Technovation Forums as
well as the National Outreach Scholarship Conference and focus on a major theme.

Some suggestions for topics include:
    innovation and knowledge transfer
    government/university partnerships and public policy,
    university R&D and regional development,

This strategy would raise the visibility of the Triple Helix concept, which is very much
embedded in our current processes, in the university and region. Such a workshop could also
connect our programs in CIMS, Textiles Extension, Design, and Centennial Campus, and the
Research Triangle Regional Partnership.

Furthermore, the Triple Helix concept is directly applicable to major engagement programs such
as the SBTDC with its collaborative partnership of the SBA at the federal level, the NC
Department of Commerce, and state appropriated funding, and the universities in the UNC
System in support of this public service activity. The SBTDC has had a significant impact on
job retention and job growth in the 2,000 businesses that it has worked with this last year.

Similarly, the Industrial Extension Service and its Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP)
represents a partnership of NIST at the federal level, the state with its appropriated match, the
university as the lead organization, and the firms who in this case pay fees for services such as
LEAN Manufacturing, Six Sigma training, and ISO training.

Finally, the Cooperative Extension Service is a classic example of the partnership between the
federal government, state, counties, and the agricultural sector.

I continue to think this Triple Helix concept, the conference, and its application in our context
would be invaluable. The networking with colleagues associated with the university –
government – private sector, the focus on economic development, and the potential for public
policy impact are there. I would hope to stimulate some additional interest on the part of faculty
and administrators across the campus to participate in the Stanford University Triple Helix
Conference in June 2011.


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