Journal of the Knowledge Economy

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 23–42 | Cite as

Quadruple Helix, Innovation and the Knowledge-Based Development: Lessons from Remote, Rural and Less-Favoured Regions

  • Jari Kolehmainen
  • Joe Irvine
  • Linda Stewart
  • Zoltan Karacsonyi
  • Tünde Szabó
  • Juha AlarintaEmail author
  • Anders Norberg


This paper addresses the dynamics of knowledge-based development of remote, rural and less-favoured regions. Many of the regional strategies and policies aimed at developing innovation emanate from policymakers in centrally located urban conurbations and are assumed to be universally applicable. An example is the classical “triple helix” model and its successors for economic development based around the idea of universities, business and public sector organisations all coming together to foster innovation and economic prosperity. In many remote, rural and less-favoured localities, there may not be a university or other knowledge-intensive institution present which makes a difference from the point of view of local development agendas. In many regions, also the business community may be scattered and insufficiently developed in terms of innovation. And furthermore, this kind of region may also have a weak public sector to enhance innovativeness. In such regions, social and community groups may often play the dominant entrepreneurial role. The community may also play a significant role in remote, rural and less-favoured regions where the basic elements of “triple helix” model are present. In this respect the concept of a “quadruple helix” is highly beneficial. This is the case, because innovation processes are becoming increasingly open to different stakeholders. In this paper, four illustrative cases of knowledge-based development processes and policies in remote, rural and less-favoured regions are analysed by using a “double-coin model of knowledge-based regional development” which places the quadruple helix model at the very heart of knowledge-based regional development.


Knowledge-based Regional development Higher education institutions Triple helix Quadruple helix Double-coin model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jari Kolehmainen
    • 1
  • Joe Irvine
    • 2
  • Linda Stewart
    • 2
  • Zoltan Karacsonyi
    • 3
  • Tünde Szabó
    • 3
  • Juha Alarinta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anders Norberg
    • 4
  1. 1.University Consortium of SeinäjokiSeinäjokiFinland
  2. 2.University of the Highlands and IslandsInvernessScotland
  3. 3.University of DebrecenDebrecenHungary
  4. 4.Umeå UniversityCampus SkellefteåSkellefteåSweden

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