External publication No
Means Iceri Proceedings
Scope Proceedings Paper
Nature Científica
Publication date 01/01/2016
ISI 000417330202045
Abstract Purpose: The Triple Helix model proposes a framework of analysis that focuses on the role of universities as key players to boost innovative development at the regional level in a knowledge-based society which involves the interaction of three actors - university, industry and government-. Therefore, most of the prior empirical studies have addressed the role of universities and macro analyses, rather than placing emphasis on the firm perspective. The contribution of such previous empirical works has been of great value to understand the dynamics and interactions between these actors, given the theoretical potential of the Triple Helix model. Nevertheless, this framework still offers interesting gaps to cover, such as studying the value and the practical implications of the role played by firms within this model. Consequently, the objective of this study is to explore the applicability and practical value of the Triple Helix model when it comes to explore the formation and growth of a firm and its contribution to the development of innovation at regional level, as well as to assess its interactions with universities and governments both at European, national and regional levels. In particular, this exploratory study assesses the case of Abengoa, multinational leader in the renewable energies industry, specialized in developing innovative solutions for sustainability in the fields of biotechnology and biochemistry.\n Design/methodology/approach: For the development of this study we have relied on an eminently qualitative methodology, consisting on a series of interviews with professionals inside Abengoa. The aim of the analysis is to obtain information relative to the structure and growth of Abengoa; its interactions with research groups belonging to universities and public organisms; as well as those that it maintains with the diverse governmental actors (European, national and regional).\n Findings, theoretical and practical implications: This exploratory study contributes to a greater understanding of the dynamics and nature of interactions within the Triple Helix model, highlighting the existence of broader and more complex interaction spaces when the firm level is taken as the core perspective, which ultimately enriches the Triple Helix framework of analysis. The main practical implication of this study is that it highlights the role of the firm within this triple interaction on the path to a more competitive and innovative development of a certain environment.\n Research limitations/implications: Taking into account the difficulty that the firm level implies with regard to obtaining primary data on their interactions with other actors in the field of innovation, given their complexity both at structural and organizational levels, this study has a predominantly exploratory orientation. The results of this study offer some interesting insights in order to deepen the analysis of the role of firms within the Triple Helix framework.\n Originality/value: The originality of this work lies in the fact that the majority of studies in the frame of the Triple Helix is focused on the case of a certain university or is more oriented to the development of a given region. However, there is a scarcity of works that empirically analyze this phenomenon by putting the focus at the firm level. Our work is focused in the case study of the Abengoa corporation, which certainly supposes a novel approach in this field.
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