SpringerOpen Newsletter

Receive periodic news and updates relating to SpringerOpen.

Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research

The Quintuple Helix innovation model: global warming as a challenge and driver for innovation

Elias G Carayannis1*, Thorsten D Barth2 and David FJ Campbell34

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Information Systems and Technology Management, George Washington University, School of Business, Washington, DC, 20052, USA

2 Democracy Ranking Organization, Vienna, Austria

3 University of Klagenfurt, Faculty for Interdisciplinary Studies (IFF), Institute of Science Communication and Higher Education Research (WIHO), Schottenfeldgasse 29, Vienna, A-1070, Austria

4 Department of Political Science, University of Vienna, Universitätsstrasse 7/2, Vienna, A-1010, Austria

For all author emails, please log on.

Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2012, 1:2  doi:10.1186/2192-5372-1-2

Published: 8 August 2012


The Triple Helix innovation model focuses on university-industry-government relations. The Quadruple Helix embeds the Triple Helix by adding as a fourth helix the ‘media-based and culture-based public’ and ‘civil society’. The Quintuple Helix innovation model is even broader and more comprehensive by contextualizing the Quadruple Helix and by additionally adding the helix (and perspective) of the ‘natural environments of society’. The Triple Helix acknowledges explicitly the importance of higher education for innovation. However, in one line of interpretation it could be argued that the Triple Helix places the emphasis on knowledge production and innovation in the economy so it is compatible with the knowledge economy. The Quadruple Helix already encourages the perspective of the knowledge society, and of knowledge democracy for knowledge production and innovation. In a Quadruple Helix understanding, the sustainable development of a knowledge economy requires a coevolution with the knowledge society. The Quintuple Helix stresses the necessary socioecological transition of society and economy in the twenty-first century; therefore, the Quintuple Helix is ecologically sensitive. Within the framework of the Quintuple Helix innovation model, the natural environments of society and the economy also should be seen as drivers for knowledge production and innovation, therefore defining opportunities for the knowledge economy. The European Commission in 2009 identified the socioecological transition as a major challenge for the future roadmap of development. The Quintuple Helix supports here the formation of a win-win situation between ecology, knowledge and innovation, creating synergies between economy, society, and democracy. Global warming represents an area of ecological concern, to which the Quintuple Helix innovation model can be applied with greater potential.

Knowledge production; Innovation; Triple Helix; Quadruple Helix; Quintuple Helix; Social ecology; Global warming; Knowledge economy; Knowledge society; Knowledge democracy