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Knowledge exchange and the third mission of universities : Introduction: the triple helix and the third mission – Schumpeter revisited

Zawdie, Girma (2010) Knowledge exchange and the third mission of universities : Introduction: the triple helix and the third mission – Schumpeter revisited. Industry and Higher Education, 24 (3). pp. 151-155. ISSN 0950-4222

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Abstract

Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950) is well known as an economist, among other things, for his seminal contribution explaining long-term economic growth in terms of innovation and technological progress. He identified innovation at the heart of upswings in the so-called ‘Kondratiev waves’ that profile socioeconomic development trends over long periods. He saw innovation as a dynamic process of ‘creative destruction’ in which new orders arise with the obliteration of the old. This process he attributed to the entrepreneur – the innovator who, in the Schumpeterian paradigm, would in effect count as a history maker. For all its significance as a landmark in the literature of innovation and economic development, Schumpeter’s contribution falls short of providing a theory of innovation. However, he has left behind a long-standing tradition of innovation studies to grapple with this shortfall. The quest continues in the form of innovation systems and evolutionary theory, in which the Triple Helix features as a strand.