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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

Loet Leydesdorff

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)

Henry Etzkowitz

Stanford University - H-STAR Institute

Inga Ivanova

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Martin S. Meyer

University of Kent, Kent Business School

Date Written: March 20, 2017

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Leydesdorff, Loet and Etzkowitz, Henry and Ivanova, Inga and Meyer, Martin S., The Measurement of Synergy in Innovation Systems: Redundancy Generation in a Triple Helix of University-Industry-Government Relations (March 20, 2017). SWPS 2017-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2937647

Loet Leydesdorff (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) ( email )

PO Box 15793
Amsterdam, 1001 NG
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.leydesdorff.net

Henry Etzkowitz

Stanford University - H-STAR Institute ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Inga Ivanova

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

20 Myasnitskaya St.
Moscow, 101000
Russia

Martin Meyer

University of Kent, Kent Business School ( email )

Keynes College
Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP
United Kingdom

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