The Triple Helix, Indicators, and Knowledge-Based Innovation Systems

Loet Leydesdorff, Martin S. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Citations (Scopus)


When two selection environments operate upon each other, mutual shaping in a co-evolution along a particular trajectory is one possible outcome. When three selection environments are involved, more complex dynamics can be expected as a result of interactions involving bi-lateral and tri-lateral relations. Three selection environments are specified in the Triple Helix model: (1) wealth generation (industry), (2) novelty production (academia), and (3) public control (government). Furthermore, this model somewhat reduces the complexity by using university?industry?government relations for the specification of the historical conditions of the non-linear dynamics. Whereas the historical analysis informs us about how institutions and institutional arrangements carry certain functions, the evolutionary analysis focuses on the functions of selection environments in terms of outputs. One can no longer expect a one-to-one correspondence between institutions and functions; a statistics is needed for the evaluation of how, for how long, and to what extent institutional arrangements enhance synergies among different selection environments. The empirical contributions to this Triple Helix issue point in the direction of ?rich ecologies?: the construction of careful balances between differentiation and integration among the three functions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1441-1449
Number of pages9
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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