The Research Triangle Region: Demonstrating the Strength of the Triple Helix

Research Triangle Region, N.C. -- During their recent visit to the Research Triangle Region in North Carolina, USA., the ten ICN clusters were presented with a shining example of how a region can create growth by strong collaboration between companies, local authorities and academia.The Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP) has a long history of involving local authorities and companies as well as the region's three world-class universities in the economic development of the area. The region is home to 12 clusters, one of these being the Cleantech Cluster that has been a partner in ICN for a year.

World-class program for stakeholders from all over the world

During the week of October 24-27, 2010, the Research Triangle's Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) hosted the 4th ICN Managers Meeting and Cluster Visiting Program.

The two and a half days that were spent introducing the cluster and its stakeholders to the ICN managers from North America, Europe and Asia comprised both a large number of site visits and an international smart grid conference.

Introduction to the cleantech leaders

Lee Anne B. Nance, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at RTRP, says: "The visit was a great success. Professionals from the world's most influential and dynamic cleantech clusters received a thorough introduction to the Research Triangle Region's cleantech assets and the people who are leading cleantech research, policy formation and business development throughout the region."

Success built on the triple helix

The delegates visited company locations and research facilities in Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh and the world's second largest technology park, the Research Triangle Park, and during the program met with government, academic and industry leaders from around the wider region. Lee Anne B. Nance explains why the support from local stakeholders for the ICN visit was so strong: "The Research Triangle Region's success as an innovation hub is built on the triple helix model of collaboration. The region therefore sees tremendous value in creating opportunities to build relationships that lead to collaboration. The ICN visit was a great example of an event that did just that."

Sure that the visit will yield results

Lee Anne B. Nance is certain that the visit, however short, of the ICN delegations has laid the foundation for even greater international involvement by the Research Triangle stakeholders: "It was a wonderful opportunity to develop academic, policy and business opportunities that will yield results now and in the future."