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The Measurement of Synergy in Innovation Systems: Redundancy Generation in a Triple Helix of University-Industry-Government Relations

Loet Leydesdorff (), Henry Etzkowitz (), Inga Ivanova () and Martin Meyer ()
Additional contact information
Henry Etzkowitz: International Triple Helix Institute (ITHI),
Inga Ivanova: Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, National Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE),
Martin Meyer: Kent Business School,

SPRU Working Paper Series from SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School

Abstract: In university-industry-government relations, one not only exchanges information, but can also share meanings provided from partially overlapping perspectives. Such sharing of meanings invokes different codes of communication and generates redundancies. Redundancy can be measured as the number of options not yet realized in a system of innovations. The generation of new options is probably more important for the quality of knowledge-based innovation systems than prior achievements. Three levels of communication can be distinguished: the communication of information in networks of relations, the sharing of meaning among differently positioned agents in a multi-dimensional vector space, and codes of communication (“horizons of meaning”) which “structurate” meaning processing among reflexive agents. Scientometricians have mainly studied the communication of information; new options, however, are generated and entertained discursively in the knowledge base. The Triple-Helix synergy indicator enables us to measure the generation of redundancy as feedback on historical trajectories. In a number of studies of national systems of innovation (e.g., Sweden, Germany, Spain, China), this measure was used to indicate niches (e.g., regions) in which uncertainty is reduced. Reduction of uncertainty improves the entrepreneurial climate for innovation. The quality of an innovation system can thus be quantified at different geographical scales and in terms of different sectors, such as high- and medium-tech manufacturing or knowledge-intensive services.

Keywords: Triple Helix; Non-linear Dynamics; University-Industry-Government Relations; Redundancy; Innovation Systems; Knowledge Base (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-ino, nep-knm and nep-sbm
Date: 2017-05
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