Han Zhang, Yuzhuo Cai and Zhengfeng Li
This paper argues that failure to deeply understand various existing organizations of university-industry technology transfer in China impedes the progress of both practice and research on technology transfer between university and industry in that country. In response, it attempts to categorize different types of university technology transfer organizations in China in over a 30-year time span and analyze the relations between these organizations. In so doing, Tsinghua University is taken as an example for analysis, because technology transfer at Tsinghua University can be seen as a microcosm of university-industry technology transfer in China with pioneer practices and successful experience to be followed by other universities in China. The analysis is guided by an analytical framework, constructed by integrating the insights from relevant literature. The framework distinguishes between different forms of university technology transfer organizations by focusing on six dimensions of the organizational characteristics. After identifying eight types of university technology transfer organizations in Tsinghua University with detailed descriptions of their respective organizational characteristics, the paper further groups them into a four-category typology. Besides its contribution in constructing a framework to understand university technology transfer organizations in the Chinese context, the paper also solicits suggestions for Chinese and international stakeholders who may potentially cooperate with Chinese research universities in research, development, and innovation.
Siri Brorstad Borlaug and Magnus Gulbrandsen
Many science support mechanisms aim to combine excellent research with explicit expectations of societal impact. Temporary research centres such as ‘Centres of Excellence’ and ‘Centre of Excellence in Research and Innovation’ have become widespread. These centres are expected to produce research that creates future economic benefits and contributes to solving society’s challenges, but little is known about the researchers that inhabit such centres. In this paper, we ask how and to what extent centres affect individual researchers’ identity and scientific practice. Based on interviews with 33 researchers affiliated with 8 centres in Sweden and Norway, and on institutional logics as the analytical framework, we find 4 broad types of identities with corresponding practices. The extent to which individuals experience tensions depend upon the compatibility and centrality of the two institutional logics of excellence and innovation within the centre context. Engagement in innovation seems unproblematic and common in research-oriented centres where the centrality of the innovation logic is low, while individuals in centres devoted to both science and innovation in emerging fields of research or with weak social ties to their partners more frequently expressed tension and dissatisfaction.
Liudvika Leišytė and Lisa Sigl
In this article, we aim to explore the agency of scientific entrepreneurs and research managers in shaping their Triple Helix contexts. Drawing on institutional documents and in-depth interviews with research managers and scientists in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the study shows that trust in scientific entrepreneurs from research managers, their scientific standing and leadership, and type of academic entrepreneurship are central in shaping the Triple Helix relationships. Research managers frame themselves as passive service-providers for scientists’ commercialization activities while scientists see them as facilitating creative employment arrangements. Research managers perceive scientists as self-motivated highly creative risk-takers. The studied scientific entrepreneurs negotiate their institutional arrangements and find flexible solutions for the structural barriers within their research organisations. At the same time, they tend to avoid taking personal risks when it comes to contractual arrangements and their careers.
The study identifies two types of agency exerted to shape the Triple Helix context—bricolage and institutional entrepreneurship. Bricolage activities and the trust of research managers in the leadership and autonomy of scientific entrepreneurs prepare the basis for institutional change. This can be the ground for institutional entrepreneurship to take place and reshape the Triple Helix relationships in the particular context.
Wei Yao, Heng Li and Mosi Weng
Extant research shows that universities do not usually foster an inclusive innovation system. This paper examines an innovation program at Zhejiang University that targeted rural areas in China, and that sought to promote an inclusive innovation system. This case illuminates how universities could play a critical role in configuring inclusive regional innovation systems by means of selection, improvement and diffusion of technology, dissemination and absorption of knowledge, access to science and technology, intermediation between the actors of innovation, training skilled labor, and cultivating talent. We underscore how the inclusive innovation program of Zhejiang University allowed this university to help realize the enormous consumption, production, and entrepreneurial potential of low-income households in rural China.
Josep M. Pique, Jasmina Berbegal-Mirabent and Henry Etzkowitz
Silicon Valley’s innovation ecosystem has evolved in the last decade. In this study we aim to understand how and why Silicon Valley evolves by identifying changes on the role played by the Triple Helix Agents. We also aim at identifying if changes in one of the agents trigger evolution of the others. Taking the startup as the unit of analysis and applying a multiple case-study approach, the results are analyzed on the bases of the Triple Helix Model and interpreted in the light of the periods of development of an entrepreneurial venture. Our findings suggest that the role of the Triple Helix agents evolves over time and therefore, so does an innovative ecosystem. Main changes refer to the (1) rise of accelerator programs as a new player in the ecosystem; (2) an early engagement of corporations with startups; (3) the geographical expansion of Silicon Valley, now including San Francisco; (4) an increasing commitment of universities with capital funds; and (5) the rise of micromultinationals due to talent shortage and fierce competition in the area.
Liudvika Leišytė and Maximilian Fochler
Florian Poppen and Reinhold Decker
This paper aims to illustrate how the triple-helix concept can be implemented on a city level by establishing an intermediary among the scientific, economic, and public administration spheres and civil society. By using the example of Bielefeld 2000plus, an initiative founded for this particular purpose, this paper shows that in today’s knowledge society, certain inter-organizational conflicts and challenges regarding cooperation may arise that an intermediary actor can channel efficiently. Furthermore, Bielefeld 2000plus serves as a prototypical example and is used to derive a theoretical model of such an intermediary actor as both the product of and platform for institutional entrepreneurs who try to elicit institutional change. Drawing on extant literature that examines intermediaries with the triple-helix concept, as well as institutional entrepreneurs, this paper discusses how an intermediary can act as an institutional entrepreneur by adopting a bifunctional framework, with all the advantages and disadvantages that this entails. This framework is condensed into the Bifunctional Intermediary (BFI) Model, which may benefit researchers studying triplehelix processes and practitioners seeking to establish an intermediary.