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Triple Helix Conference 2020 hosted successfully online by Tampere University

Published on 30.6.2020
Tampere University
The XVIII International Triple Helix Conference hosted by Tampere University during 15-16 June 2020 was a historical moment of Triple Helix Association — one of the major communities of innovation studies. It was the first time that the Triple Helix annual conference was organised online. With about one month time of moving the originally planned in-person conference to virtual format, it was a great success in terms of both quantitative and qualitative measurements.

Around 200 delegates from 40 countries attended the conference, including five keynote speakers and another 20 experts engaged in various plenary sessions. There were 80 paper presentations in eight tracks, plus three workshops, in parallel sessions. The speakers and participants from the sectors of academia, industry, government and NGOs were all contributing to discussions addressing the theme of the conference: “Future of innovation and innovation for future”.  

The conference’s triumph also lies in its high-quality speeches given by leading figures in innovation research and practice as well as outstanding intellectual outcomes contributing to a multidisciplinary community for exploring optimal approaches of innovation to the future. The keynote speakers include Henry Etzkowtiz (the President Triple Helix Association), Esko Aho (former Prime-minister of Finland), Martti Hetemäki (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance of Finland), Martin Kenney (Professor of Community and Regional Development at the University of California) and Joanna Chataway (Professor of Science and Technology at University College London).

Other highlights of the conference include:

• The originators of both the Triple Helix model and Quadruple/Quintuple Helix model had the first-ever open dialogue in an academic conference.

• The Triple Helix Dialogue between influencing representatives from university, industry and government was initiated in the conference. 

• A timely panel discussion on Triple Helix response to Covid-19, involving experts from Europe, America and Aisa, was well received by the conference audience. 

• The innovation challenges and opportunities in the context of Tampere, debated in a plenary panel, served a good example of developing innovative future society by using the Triple Helix model.

• Positive and encouraging feedback was received from the participants on the quality of presentations and workshops in parallel sessions as well as convened interactions enabled by the virtual event platform.  

• Intensive social networking activities taking place on the conference technical platform with 1317 private chat messages and 107 private meetings among conference participants. 

The success of the virtual Triple Helix Conference is, first of all, accredited to courage and wisdom of the Executive Committee of Triple Helix Association in deciding to move the conference online. The conference was also strongly supported by the local host— Tampere University. Indeed the conference strongly fit the priorities of the university, which can also be reflected in the events: The President of Tampere University Mari Walls gave the opening speech and the Vice President Juha Teperi chaired the keynote speech of Esko Aho.  

Conference team group photo online

Special thanks to:

• The Chair of XVIII Triple Helix Conference, Dr. Yuzhuo Cai, Senior Lecturer and Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University. 

• The Conference Producer, Yulia Shumilova, Researcher, Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University.

• Conference local organizing committee: Yuzhuo Cai, Markku Sotarauta, Taru Pilvi, Mika Kautonen, Rebecca Boden, Tiina Brandt, Nina Helander, Pauli Kuosmanen, Annina Lattu, Yulia Shumilova

• Congress Office, Tampere University

• Conference scientific committee: Devrim Göktepe-Hultén, Mika Raunio, Antonio Hidalgo, Juha Tuunainen, Seppo Poutanen, Karen Viviana Barrañon Navarro, Mariza Almeida, Magnus Klofsten, Marcelo Amaral, Roberto Rivas Hermann, Irina Dezhina, Marcos Lima, Annika Steiber, Erika Kraemer-Mbula, Michele Coletti, Yuzhuo Cai, Markku Sotarauta, Zineb El Andaloussi, Mika Kautonen, Nina Helander

• Conference volunteers: Haochen Zong, Ruiying Yang, Gaoming Zheng, Flávia Soares de Oliveira Colus, Weirui Zhang, Ruonan Huang, Mulin Li, Nathália Cristina do Rosário, Hareem Salman, Viviana Rojas Rivera, Anu Lyytinen, Margarita Khartanovich, Sini Teräsahde, Nino Popkhadze, Cuan Hundermark, Tsegay Hagos, Shuqing Liu, Annina Lattu.

• Sponsors of the conference: Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, Foundation for Economic Education, Tampere University Foundation, City of Tampere, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, CSSA Tampere, DIMECC, Tampere Chamber of Commerce, DEMOLA and Sustainability Journal. 

The conference also congratulates the winners of Best paper awards 

  • Dorian ALIU and Armando ALIU for the paper “Leading Organizations in Information Exchange: University – Industry Collaboration Interfaces” 
  • Ninetta Chaniotou, Ari Lainevuo, Thomas Bartzanas and Juan Carlos Martinez Barrio for the paper “Transregional access to innovation on demand”  
  • Sini Teräsahde for the paper “Actor-Network Theory Approach for Analysing the Imageries of the Relations between Research, Practice and Policymaking” 

We also congratulate the winners of the Triple Helix Conferece 2020 Social Media Ambassador Award:

  • Rabii Outamha, University of Hassan II, Morocco
  • Sini Teräsahde, Tampere University, Finland

Text by: Dr. Yuzhuo Cai, THC2020 Chair, Yulia Shumilova, Conference producer and Annina Lattu, Local Organising Commitee memeber.