Bottom‐up Triple Helix: science policy in the states of the USA

Henry Etzkowitz (Human Sciences Technology Advanced Research Institute (H‐STAR), Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA)
James Dzisah (Department of Sociology, Nipissing University, North Bay, Canada and University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana)

Journal of Knowledge-based Innovation in China

ISSN: 1756-1418

Publication date: 28 June 2013



The paper aims to investigate the emergence of science policy in the states of the USA, drawing attention to the fact that every state has a science and technology agency and multiple programs that attempt to raise the level of science and technology in the state and attract resources from elsewhere.


The paper builds upon the authors' previous study of high‐tech growth and renewal in Boston and Silicon Valley through analysis of documents and interviews with key actors in universities, S&T policy units of the Governor's association to detail the bottom‐up initiatives exemplifying the US innovation policy model.


The path dependent elements in US science and technology policy are an enhanced role for universities, an ambivalent role for national government and industry and a growing role for state and local government. Federal research funds, largely confined to support of agricultural research before the Second World War, became available for a variety of civilian and military purposes, on an ongoing basis, after the war. An assisted linear model of coordinated innovation mechanisms has been constructed on this base to translate inventions into economic activity through university‐industry‐government interactions.


The paper shows that S&T policy at the state level fills gaps in university‐industry relations, leverages federal R&D spending and enhances local comparative and competitive advantage.



Etzkowitz, H. and Dzisah, J. (2013), "Bottom‐up Triple Helix: science policy in the states of the USA", Journal of Knowledge-based Innovation in China, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 80-96.

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