FOUNDING SCIENCE INSTITUTES: THE TRIPLE-HELIX AND HOW THE GLOBAL INSTITUTE FOR FOOD SECURITY WAS FOUNDED
In addition to teaching and research, many universities around the world have started to assume a direct role in economic development. In the literature, this trend is referred to as creating the entrepreneur university. Focusing on the interaction among government, business, and academia, the triple-helix theory is used frequently by contemporary social scientists to analyze the processes of creating the entrepreneur university. When reviewing the literature and reading about the triple-helix theory, I realized that a study of a contemporary and global institute, intended from the beginning to function through the interaction of government, business, and academia, and including informants and participants’ perceptions was needed. I posed my research question as follows: Does the triple-helix theory explain the factors, motivations, and social processes that led to the creation of the University of Saskatchewan’s Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS)? In order to answer this question, I conducted interviews with key academics, businesses, and government actors, gathered archival documents and media reports, and used qualitative data analysis and triangulation. My research findings indicate that the role of the industry in creating the GIFS is strong and that the GIFS embodies the new policy of the University, which as recommended by supporters of commercialization can be summarized with the following four points: improving signature areas, improving the position of the University within university rankings, increasing central planning, and attracting private funding and partnerships. Furthermore, research findings indicate that, for the most part, the triple-helix theory does not help in explaining how the GIFS was founded, as it does not problematize power relations and it appraises the status quo.
science production, higher education, neoliberalism, founding science institutes, triple-helix, Global Institute for Food Security, sociology of higher education, sociology of organizations, science and innovation policy
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)