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Triple Helix Roundtable Brings Regions’ Role in Innovation into Focus
12 December 2010
Triple Helix Roundtable Brings Regions’ Role in Innovation into Focus

Triple Helix Roundtable Brings Regions’ Role in Innovation into Focus
By Daniel Satinsky
Originally Published by ModernRussia.com

Triple Helix Roundtable
On December 1, the Academy of the National Economy sponsored a roundtable discussion on the “Interaction between Business, Universities and Government,” featuring Professor Henry Itzkowitz, author of the Triple Helix model of innovation policy. The program was unique in its focus on regional innovation development. The program was moderated by Oksana Kozlovskaya, first vice governor of Tomsk Region and speakers included Professor Etzkowitz, Oleg Alexeev, vice president and CEO for education and research at the Skolkovo Foundation and Alexander Uvarov, Prorector of Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radioelectronics (TUSUR). Expert commentary was provided by Cynthia Bouthot and Daniel Satinsky, partners in Russia Innovation Partners.

The audience was composed of more than 120 invited guests, including representatives of RUSNANO, Russian Venture Company, ministry and federal-level officials, and representatives of seven regional universities and governments. One of the main purposes of the roundtable was to raise the profile of regional innovation programs. In the words of one of the organizers, Ekaterina Bulycheva, director of the Group for Implementing Innovation Projects at the Academy of the National Economy, “The purpose of the seminar was to push the regions into the center of attention and counteract the lack of interest in the regions by experts in Moscow.”

The Tomsk Region has adopted the Triple Helix Model as its guiding principal for developing innovation policy. As explained by Vice Governor Kozlovskaya and Prorector Uvarov, Tomsk has already achieved significant results as a result of innovation policies implemented over the past decade. TUSOR presented a Russian translation of Professor Etzkowitz’s book, “The Triple Helix – University-Industry-Government – Innovation in Action” at the roundtable and Prorector Uvarov praised the usefulness of the model for ongoing regional innovation policy.

The Triple Helix model is based on the historical experience of the Boston area and Silicon Valley in creating regional economies focused on knowledge-based, innovative companies. The model looks at the interaction of regional institutions of government, business and universities and focuses on how they interact and co-evolve over time to produce these companies. The thesis of the model is that knowledge-based regions do not occur spontaneously. They are the product of specific initiatives that took decades to bring results. The model posits that in modern conditions the transition to a knowledge-based economy will be led by entrepreneurial research universities linked to appropriate policies of government and industry and supported by new institutions that will grow out of the Triple Helix of cooperation and communication between all three. It suggests that emerging regions can be successful by carefully evaluating what stage they are in the development process and by adapting their local policies to their own regional strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.

The active discussion at the roundtable reinvigorated the work of the Association of Innovative Regions, which was founded at the Tomsk Innovation Forum in May 2010 and led to discussions of further cooperation in innovation activities between the regions of Perm and Tomsk.

 

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