Quality & Quantity

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 963–988 | Cite as

Decomposing the Triple-Helix synergy into the regional innovation systems of Norway: firm data and patent networks

  • Øivind StrandEmail author
  • Inga Ivanova
  • Loet Leydesdorff


The Triple Helix model of university-industry-government relations allows us to use mutual information among geographical, sectorial, and size distribution of firms to measure synergy at various geographical scales in a nation. In this paper we decompose the synergy in Triple Helix relations and analyze the decomposition at the county level. We use micro-level data for all Norwegian firms from 2002 to 2014. This provides new and more detailed insight into the factors explaining the previously reported variation in synergy at county level in Norway. Furthermore, we analyze the county and city level distributions of all national as well as USPTO granted patents with at least one Norwegian inventor. Co-inventor networks for Norwegian USPTO patents are visualized using Google maps. The counties with technology-dominated synergies and strong knowledge institutions have a higher level of international co-inventor networks. Sectorial and geographical networks characterize the oil and gas dominated county, Rogaland. In contrast the knowledge institution dominated county of Sør-Trøndelag has broader networks both with regard to sectors and geography. In the small industry dominated county of Møre og Romsdal with high synergy, the lack of international co-inventor network is striking. This might be interpreted as a sign of industrial lock-in. The use of both firm level and patent data together give a broader and more precise picture of the innovation systems under study. The use of both national and international patent data also broadens the picture of the innovation activity of the nation.


Triple Helix USPTO patents Regional innovation system Probabilistic entropy 



This paper was presented at the DISC conference in Daegu, South Korea in December 2014 and we acknowledge comments and feedback from several colleagues in the discussion. We thank two anonymous reviewers and the Editor for insightful comments and suggestions for improvements of the manuscript. Inga Ivanova acknowledges support of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE) and the Global Competitiveness Program of the Government of the Russian Federation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Øivind Strand
    • 1
    Email author
  • Inga Ivanova
    • 2
    • 3
  • Loet Leydesdorff
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of International BusinessNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) ÅlesundÅlesundNorway
  2. 2.Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of KnowledgeNational Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE)MoscowRussian Federation
  3. 3.School of Business and Public AdministrationFar Eastern Federal UniversityVladivostokRussian Federation
  4. 4.Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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