Public Policy Support to Triple Helix R&D Collaborations: A European Model for Fourth Pillar Organizations

  • Alexandra Simon
  • Pilar MarquèsEmail author
Part of the Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management book series (ITKM)


Fourth pillar organization is the name used for independent, not-for-profit, member-based organizations that combine funding from the government and the private sector and are conceived to facilitate the complex collaboration among triple helix participants. This chapter sets out to explore how these organizations are effective tools for governments to boost collaborative innovation. It analyzes four cases of successful fourth pillar organizations in three different European ­countries—namely, Holland, Spain, and Sweden—and uncovers a different model of such organizations to the one found in previous research for Canada and the USA. Particularly, the government has a more proactive and preeminent role, as well as notable participation of the private financial sector. We also found that fourth pillar organizations tend to complement existing industry and R&D capabilities so that they have a more limited or extended role depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the existing triple helix system. This chapter further contributes to understanding better why fourth pillar organizations have been created and how they can contribute to facilitate triple helix collaboration. It, therefore, provides ideas for reflection so that government and industry can better guide their future action and commitments.


European Union Triple Helix Innovation Policy European Union Country European Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business OrganizationUniversitat de GironaGironaSpain

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