The interaction meeting held on 28th & 29th Novemeber 2006 at IIT Kharagpur, with TePP network partners has been a stimulating experience. Some information on Triple Helix model is shared here.
University based incubation , assisting the growth of spin-off firms through a dedicated facility providing subsidized space, consultation and other help to encourage entrepreneurship is a world wide phenomenon. This originated in the USA at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) two decades ago as an explicit organizational format and since had spread all over the globe. Incubator development varies according to academic and regional conditions, the focus was on spin-offs from faculty in USA, reverse engineering adaptation in catching- up economies and an emphasis on student organized firms in Sweden etc. Triple Helix model of university-industry-government has at its core a university as a source of new technologies and had its origins at MIT and Stanford in the early 20th century. At MIT incubation was needed to revive a declining industrial region and at Stanford the need was to develop a green field site in a region largely lacking in industry.
The triple helix comprises universities and other knowledge producing institutions, industry including high tech start-ups, MNCs and government at various levels.The incubator format is reinterpreted and re-invented to respond to local conditions, opportunities and problems. The flexibility of the incubator model has allowed its adaptation to the problems of low-tech as well as high tech firms, the formation of cooperatives as well as corporations, linear extension of academic research and reverse linear importation of industrial problems and business concepts into academia. The principles of incubation in a triple helix of university-industry relationships can be expressed in the following propositions ( Henry Etzkowitz):
-The development of science and technology is increasingly embedded in the triadic relationship of university, industry and government.
-Institutions in each sector play hybridised roles that move them away from classical understanding of the sector, for instance, entrepreneurial academics, academic industrialists and business strategy in government.
-Incubators are organisations that internalise the triadic relationship and encourage and provide home for these hybridised roles.
-Networks at various levels, among incubator firms, incubators and institutional spheres have the potential to enhance the rate of innovation and inventive activity, both technological and organisational.
-High-tech innovation is universalised as developing countries with the ability to develop human capital in niche areas are able to translate these competencies into internationally competitive technologies and firms.
-Incubation exemplifies the emergence of a triple helix science, technology and innovative policy.