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Tove Brink and Svend Ole Madsen

This research reveals how small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can enable innovation and contribute to a reduction in the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) in offshore wind farms. The research provides findings from a longitudinal qualitative study of 10 SMEs for the understanding of the impact from integrating SMEs in a triple helix context.

The triple helix approach with government, university and industry participants typically include larger organisations. The research indicates that SMEs could join the triple helix and both contribute and receive benefit from their presence. The findings show that SMEs need access to market and industry stakeholders to understand, learn and select among business innovation opportunities. Universities, governmental bodies and industries can create a knowledge space for organisational reciprocal learning between SMEs and larger enterprises to enable innovation for the reduction of the LCOE in the wind farm industry. This knowledge space also provides important insight and understanding for the governmental and university helices for active contribution to offshore wind energy.

The governmental policy impact stresses the need for a more strategic long-term support of industry knowledge spaces for offshore wind energy. Governmental bodies would actively enhance political growth strategies regulating competition and collaboration. Universities can contribute actively towards knowledge creation and dissemination. All three helices could benefit from this approach to SMEs. Further research needs to be conducted on SMEs in the triple helix context.