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The Triple Helix, Quadruple Helix, . . ., and an N-tuple of Helices: 
Explanatory Models for Analyzing the Knowledge-based Economy?  

Using the Triple Helix model of university-industry-government relations,
one can measure the extent to which innovation has become systemic instead
of assuming the existence of national (or regional) systems of innovations
on a priori grounds. Systemness of innovation patterns, however, can be
expected to remain in transition because of integrating and differentiating
forces. Integration among the functions of wealth creation, knowledge
production, and normative control takes place at the interfaces in
organizations, while exchanges on the market, scholarly communication in
knowledge production, and political discourse tend to differentiate
globally. The neo-institutional and the neo-evolutionary versions of the
Triple Helix model enable us to capture this tension reflexively. Empirical
studies inform us whether more than three helices are needed for the
explanation. The Triple Helix indicator can be extended algorithmically, for
example, with local-global as a fourth dimension or, more generally, to an
N-tuple of helices. 

** apologies for cross-postings

Loet Leydesdorff 
Professor, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam.
Tel. +31-20-525 6598; fax: +31-842239111
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