A Triple Helix of University–Industry–Government
Edited by Riccardo Viale and Henry Etzkowitz
Riccardo Viale and Henry Etzkowitz THE TRIPLE HELIX IN ECONOMIC CYCLES The year 2009 may have represented a turning point for research and innovation policy in Western countries, with apparently contradictory effects. Many traditional sources of financing have dried up, although some new ones have emerged, for example as a result of the US stimulus package. Manufacturing companies are cutting their R&D budgets because of the drop in demand. Universities saw their endowments fall by 25 per cent or more because of the collapse in financial markets. Harvard interrupted the construction of its new science campus, while Newcastle University speeded up its building projects in response to the economic crisis. Risk capital is becoming increasingly prudent because of the increased risk of capital loss (according to the International Monetary Fund, the ratio between bank regulatory capital and riskweighted assets increased on average between 0.1 and 0.4 for the main OECD countries during 2009) while sovereign funds, like Norway’s, took advantage of the downturn to increase their investments. According to the National Venture Capital Association, American venture capital shrank from US$7.1 billion in the first quarter of last year to US$4.3 billion in the first quarter of 2009 (New York Times, 13 April 2009). Many of the pension funds, endowments and foundations that invested in venture capital firms have signalled that they are cutting back on the assets class. The slowdown is attributable in part to venture capitalists and their investors taking a wait-and-see approach until the economy...