Abstract

The Triple Helix concept of innovation systems holds that consensus space among industry, government and university is required to bring together their competences to achieve enhanced economic and social development on a systemic scale. In line with this argument, this article analyses empirically how the concept of circular economy is conceived in the institutional spheres of “industry”, “government” and “university”. Innovation systems are constantly being reconstructed through knowledge production and communication, which is reflected in how concepts develop in the different spheres. By applying natural language processing tools to key contributions from each of the three spheres (the “Triple Helix”), it is shown that, although institutional backgrounds do contribute to differing conceptualizations of circular economy, there is a substantial but limited conceptual consensus space, which, according to the Triple Helix, should open new opportunities for innovations. The consensus space shared across the three spheres focuses on materials and products and sees circular economy as a way to create new resources, businesses and products from waste. The industry sphere highlights business opportunities on global scale, which are also evident in the government sphere. The government sphere connects circular economy to waste-related innovation policies targeted at industrial renewal, economic growth, investments and jobs. The university sphere, in turn, focuses on production and environmental issues, waste and knowledge, and is rather distinct from the two other spheres. The importance of the differing conceptions of circular economy is based on the logic of Triple Helix systems. Accordingly, sufficient consensus between the Triple Helix spheres can advance the application of the concept of circular economy beyond the individual spheres to achieve systemic changes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2646
JournalSustainability
Volume10
Issue number8
ISSN2071-1050
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 511 Economics

Cite this

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title = "Circular Economy in the Triple Helix of Innovation Systems",
abstract = "The Triple Helix concept of innovation systems holds that consensus space among industry, government and university is required to bring together their competences to achieve enhanced economic and social development on a systemic scale. In line with this argument, this article analyses empirically how the concept of circular economy is conceived in the institutional spheres of “industry”, “government” and “university”. Innovation systems are constantly being reconstructed through knowledge production and communication, which is reflected in how concepts develop in the different spheres. By applying natural language processing tools to key contributions from each of the three spheres (the “Triple Helix”), it is shown that, although institutional backgrounds do contribute to differing conceptualizations of circular economy, there is a substantial but limited conceptual consensus space, which, according to the Triple Helix, should open new opportunities for innovations. The consensus space shared across the three spheres focuses on materials and products and sees circular economy as a way to create new resources, businesses and products from waste. The industry sphere highlights business opportunities on global scale, which are also evident in the government sphere. The government sphere connects circular economy to waste-related innovation policies targeted at industrial renewal, economic growth, investments and jobs. The university sphere, in turn, focuses on production and environmental issues, waste and knowledge, and is rather distinct from the two other spheres. The importance of the differing conceptions of circular economy is based on the logic of Triple Helix systems. Accordingly, sufficient consensus between the Triple Helix spheres can advance the application of the concept of circular economy beyond the individual spheres to achieve systemic changes.",
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Circular Economy in the Triple Helix of Innovation Systems. / Anttonen, Markku; Lammi, Minna; Mykkänen, Juri; Repo, Petteri.

In: Sustainability, Vol. 10, No. 8, 2646, 27.07.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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N2 - The Triple Helix concept of innovation systems holds that consensus space among industry, government and university is required to bring together their competences to achieve enhanced economic and social development on a systemic scale. In line with this argument, this article analyses empirically how the concept of circular economy is conceived in the institutional spheres of “industry”, “government” and “university”. Innovation systems are constantly being reconstructed through knowledge production and communication, which is reflected in how concepts develop in the different spheres. By applying natural language processing tools to key contributions from each of the three spheres (the “Triple Helix”), it is shown that, although institutional backgrounds do contribute to differing conceptualizations of circular economy, there is a substantial but limited conceptual consensus space, which, according to the Triple Helix, should open new opportunities for innovations. The consensus space shared across the three spheres focuses on materials and products and sees circular economy as a way to create new resources, businesses and products from waste. The industry sphere highlights business opportunities on global scale, which are also evident in the government sphere. The government sphere connects circular economy to waste-related innovation policies targeted at industrial renewal, economic growth, investments and jobs. The university sphere, in turn, focuses on production and environmental issues, waste and knowledge, and is rather distinct from the two other spheres. The importance of the differing conceptions of circular economy is based on the logic of Triple Helix systems. Accordingly, sufficient consensus between the Triple Helix spheres can advance the application of the concept of circular economy beyond the individual spheres to achieve systemic changes.

AB - The Triple Helix concept of innovation systems holds that consensus space among industry, government and university is required to bring together their competences to achieve enhanced economic and social development on a systemic scale. In line with this argument, this article analyses empirically how the concept of circular economy is conceived in the institutional spheres of “industry”, “government” and “university”. Innovation systems are constantly being reconstructed through knowledge production and communication, which is reflected in how concepts develop in the different spheres. By applying natural language processing tools to key contributions from each of the three spheres (the “Triple Helix”), it is shown that, although institutional backgrounds do contribute to differing conceptualizations of circular economy, there is a substantial but limited conceptual consensus space, which, according to the Triple Helix, should open new opportunities for innovations. The consensus space shared across the three spheres focuses on materials and products and sees circular economy as a way to create new resources, businesses and products from waste. The industry sphere highlights business opportunities on global scale, which are also evident in the government sphere. The government sphere connects circular economy to waste-related innovation policies targeted at industrial renewal, economic growth, investments and jobs. The university sphere, in turn, focuses on production and environmental issues, waste and knowledge, and is rather distinct from the two other spheres. The importance of the differing conceptions of circular economy is based on the logic of Triple Helix systems. Accordingly, sufficient consensus between the Triple Helix spheres can advance the application of the concept of circular economy beyond the individual spheres to achieve systemic changes.

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