Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Workshop: Knowledge-Based Entrepreneurship, the Triple Helix and Local Economic Development (London, UK)


 Wednesday, 10 July 2013 / 10:50 – 12:20
University College of London (UCL) - Roberts Building 106

Organised by the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Programme
as Part of the Triple Helix Conference, London


The Issue: Entrepreneurship in the Triple Helix

The creation of innovative new firms and the development of SME innovation are strongly influenced by the extent to which localities offer environments that favour the transfer of knowledge to local business and provide the other resources required for innovative firm development, including skills, finance, advice, and supply chain partners. The concept of the 'triple helix' captures the interplay of government, research and industry in the promotion of business innovation and provides a framework for policymakers seeking to understand how to promote local knowledge-based entrepreneurship. The workshop will use this framework to examine the policy actions that governments can take to promote innovative new firm creation and SME innovation in local economies by improving conditions for knowledge transfer and knowledge-based entrepreneurship. Read more...

Rationale of the workshop

The OECD LEED Programme is running a series of entrepreneurship and SME development reviews at local and regional levels. Examined regions include Cantabria and Andalusia in Spain, Marche and Trentino in Italy, Sinaloa, Morelos and Queretaro in Mexico, West Midlands in the UK, Negev in Israel, etc. These case studies have highlighted how innovation is locally affected by the ability of the “Triple Helix” actors to generate effective knowledge transfer amongst the local stakeholders, but also how a number of common barriers can undermine local innovation systems.  

The workshop will focus on three of the most common barriers identified by OECD/LEED in its “Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development” reviews, namely:

  • HEI engagement with SMEs and new firms
  • Weak networks
  • Technology and policy lock-ins


Key issues for discussion

This workshop will examine these three issues and collect information from participants on how they have experienced these problems locally and the most successful policy responses that can be developed. Under each of the three themes the following questions will steer the discussion:

  • What are the major obstacles to entrepreneurship and SME development in local innovation systems? What are the causes and scale of these problems?
  • What is the most promising policy option? What are local/regional governments expressly doing to back new and small firms in their own local innovation systems? What has worked well (i.e. policy successes) and what less well (i.e. policy failures) in different policy packages?


Organisation of the workshop

The workshop will include both presentations and open discussion. Read more...


  • Opening remarks
    • By Sergio Arzeni, Head of the OECD LEED Programme
  • OECD Review Findings
    • By Jonathan Potter (sr. economist) and Marco Marchese (economist), OECD LEED Programme
  • The OECD entrepreneurship, SME and local development Review in the Marche Region, Italy
    • By Fabrizio Costa, INVITALIA (Italy’s FDI and Business Development Agency)
  • Views on the causes of the common triple helix problems found in OECD reviews
    • Prof. Björn Asheim, Lund University, Sweden
      •  University-industry networks & incentives for universities to engage with business sector 
    • Prof Phil Cooke, University of Cardiff, UK
      • The transition of local economies into growing activities
  • Q&A and open-mic sessions
  • Conclusions
    • By Jonathan Potter, sr. economist, OECD LEED Programme


Contact information

For further information, please contact:

Jonathan Potter, senior economist, OECD LEED Programme,

Marco Marchese, economist, OECD LEED Programme,



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