Growing the Linköping Technopole—A Longitudinal Study of Triple Helix Development in Sweden

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In the context of successful examples of regional development in Sweden, the Linköping region is often named. Whilst maintaining a historical reputation for culture and learning, Linköping has developed, during the last thirty years, as a major centre within Sweden for technological growth, especially in the creation and development of new technology-based firms. This high technology environment has been further enhanced by the presence of a growing international university, a number of significant multinational high-technology companies and the location of several public sector research establishments. Previous research on regional development suggests that this milieu could be characterised as a ‘technopole,’ namely an arena where these organisations co-operate with each other in a formal or informal way to develop the technological capability of the region. This paper sets out to examine and describe the different ‘actors’ that have contributed to the recent development of Linköping as one of the fastest growing technological regions in Europe. The linkages between the actors are examined in detail. The results of the study indicate that one of the most important actors behind the positive development is the university. In addition, the development that has taken place over the last thirty years can be likened to a spiral where success begets success to foster a positive entrepreneurial climate.

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