Gauging Readiness for the Quadruple Helix: A Study of 16 European Organizations

Steven P. MacGregor, Pilar Marques-Gou, Alexandra Simon-Villar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to explore the readiness for the quadruple helix in 16 European innovation ecosystems, all within medium-sized cities. Based on qualitative empirical research, we present and analyze the current innovation architecture to support cooperation, cospecialization, and coopetition between actors, and the main functions carried out within the system. This allows us to discuss whether quadruple-helix innovation architecture (Q-HIA) evolves from triple-helix architectures. We also aim to provide some hints on when, how, and why Q-HIA exists. This research can contribute to the definition and streamlining of the role of local and regional actors, mainly policy makers, within the innovation ecosystem. Lessons may be transferred to many medium-sized cities as they battle to remain competitive in the context of increasing global competition and scale threats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-190
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Knowledge Economy
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Medium-sized cities
  • Policy design
  • Quadruple helix
  • SMEs


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