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Role of intermediaries in accelerating the transformation of inter-firm networks into Triple Helix networks : a case study of SME-based industries in Thailand

Nakwa, Karantarat and Zawdie, Girma and Intarakunerd, Patarapong (2012) Role of intermediaries in accelerating the transformation of inter-firm networks into Triple Helix networks : a case study of SME-based industries in Thailand. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 52. pp. 52-61. ISSN 1877-0428

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Abstract

This paper explores the roles innovation intermediaries play in stimulating triple helix networks in Thai SMEs. Typically, knowledge networks can be classified into three forms: vertical value chain; horizontal/industrial chain; and diagonal/triple helix networks. The first two inter-firm networks evolve into triple helix network upon policy intervention via intermediaries. Intermediaries play sponsoring role at policy level by channeling resources to industry; brokering role at strategic level by linking triple helix actors; and boundary spanning role at operational level by providing services that facilitate knowledge circulation. Data were collected from the ceramic and furniture industries to test the significance of the ways the triple helix process is intermediated. The sponsoring role of intermediaries is found to be crucial for promoting the development of triple helix network in the case of these industries. The experiences of the two cases further suggest that market-led intermediaries would be more effective in promoting triple helix network development than government-funded intermediaries.