Triple Helix in
Motion: Tools, Devices, and Methods for the Development of Innovation
Networks in Agrifood SMEs
Francis Fortuin (FoodValley) and
Loïc Sauvée (LaSalle Beauvais).
The concept of the Triple Helix of university-industry-government
relationships initiated in the 1990s by Etzkowitz (2003, 2008; Etzkowitz and
Leydesdorff, 2000), interprets the shift from a dominating
industry-government dyad to a growing triadic relationship between
university-industry-government. A body of knowledge has grown over the last
two decades that provides a general framework for exploring complex
innovation dynamics. In the core of innovation dynamics lies the network
dimension, seen as crucial for the success of innovations seen as open
processes (Chesbrough et al. 2008), enabling SMEs to expand their resource
base and to absorb new technologies, new organizational capabilities, and
new competences. However, empirical observations show that practical tools
and methods to enhance network behavior often fail to support SMEs
establishing a strategic and efficient network or to act effectively within
the network. Even more critical is the lack of knowledge about practical
methods for the players of the “triple helix innovation chain” (i.e. food
managers, network coordinators, knowledge institutions and policy makers).
The objective of the present track is to fill this gap by discussing the
content of different network tools, showing the results of real life triple
helix networking cases, tests and observations of networking practices of
Toolboxes, methods and devices will
be considered from the SME and the network perspective. The SME perspective
encompasses using the network better to exchange resources in order to
develop innovations and increase profit. When taking the network
perspective, it is the aim to create a network that is able to fostering
innovation by the SMEs within the network. Indeed these complementary
perspectives are of crucial importance as a lot of initiatives fall short in
creating a real dynamics in the “triple helix network”.
It is the objective of the present
track to enrich theoretical thinking about thriple helix
university-industry-government relationships and to stimulate comparisons at
• To provide real examples or
prototypes of practical networking tools for SME managers, to enhande their
network capabilities by compating innovation networks and to identify their
roles and possible relevance for their companies;
• To show a tool box including
diadnose tests of network relevance, satisfaction, and performance for
managers, metwork coordinators, and policy makers, and;
• At a theoretical level, to analyze
the characteristics of diagnosis and testing tools, in relation to the
relevant literature in management sciences and methodology, that could be
crafted by network managers and policy makers in their endeavors to develop
triple helix innovation networks.
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