The Measurement of Synergy in Innovation Systems: Redundancy Generation in a Triple Helix of University-Industry-Government Relations
55 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2017 Last revised: 24 May 2017
Date Written: March 20, 2017
The Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations can first be considered as an institutional network. However, the correlations in the patterns of relations provide another topology: that of a vector space. Meanings are provided from positions in this latter topology. Meanings can be shared, and sharing can generate redundancy; increasing redundancy provides new options and reduces uncertainty. This evolutionary dynamics feeds back on the institutional networks which develop historically. Meaning is provided from the perspective of hindsight and with reference to other options; codes of communication open horizons of meaning. The codes operate as selection mechanisms and reinforce the perspectives of hindsight so that rationalized expectations can be entertained in a knowledge base. The knowledge base evolves in terms of providing new options by making distinctions possible. The vertical differentiation in inter-human communications operates upon the horizontal differentiation in TH relations and vice versa. The trade-off between the evolutionary generation of redundancy and the historical variation providing uncertainty can be measured as negative and positive information, respectively. Reducing uncertainty improves the innovative climate, and the generation of new options (redundancy) is crucial for innovation systems. In a number of studies of national systems of innovation (e.g., Sweden, Germany, Spain, China), this TH synergy indicator has been used to analyze regions and sectors in which uncertainty was significantly reduced. The quality of innovation systems can thus be quantified at different geographical scales and in terms of 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
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