A Brief History of the Triple Helix Movement

The Triple Helix concept was initiated in the 1990s by Henry Etzkowitz and Loet Leydesdorff, who analysed a shift from a predominant industry-government dyad in an Industrial Society to a triadic university-industry-government relationship (Triple Helix) in the Knowledge Society. This model presents an opportunity to achieve innovation outcomes for the socio-economic good through the collaboration with multi-stakeholders within academia, industry and government.

The Triple Helix movement began in 1996 with the first International Conference in Amsterdam. Bi-annual conferences occurred since then exploring the scientific research in the field of: the relationship of science, industry and government and their role in creating conditions for future innovation; cognitive, economic, social and cultural aspects of innovation; emerging models for the entrepreneurial university and more.

This led to the establishment of the Triple Helix Association which enabled the facilitation and organisation of annual international conferences for the engagement of international academia, multiple stakeholders, policy makers and practitioners interested in the Triple Helix model.

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The SA Innovation Summit will be hosting the XVII Triple Helix Conference in Cape Town South Africa, as part of its mandate to stimulate the multi-helix conversation. The SA Innovation Summit functions as an accelerator for the South African and African economies and does this by bringing all stakeholders together in the entrepreneurial and innovation space.


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