Strategies to Overcome Collaborative Innovation Barriers: The Role of Training to Foster Skills to Navigate Quadruple Helix Innovations

Luisa Barbosa-Gómez, Magdalena Wailzer, Laura Soyer, Anna Gerhardus, Francisco González Estay, Vincent Blok, Gema Revuelta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Quadruple Helix Collaborations (QHCs) is a cooperation model in which industry, government, academia, and the public interact to innovate. This paper analyses the impact of a training intervention to provide specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes to deal with barriers commonly found in the progress of QHCs. We designed, implemented, and evaluated three training programs in Austrian, Colombian, Danish, and Spanish institutions. We analysed trainees’ (n = 66) and trainers’ (n = 9) perceptions to identify the competencies acquired with the intervention and the approach’s limitations. We used online questionnaires (35 trainees; 9 trainers), semi-structured interviews (10 trainees), and a focus group (6 trainers). Trainees answered positively regarding their self-perception about the impact of the course and highlighted the acquisition of inspiration for their practice (score 4.1 out of 5.0) and knowledge (3.7). In contrast, they perceived that a deeper interaction with other participants (2.7) was challenging. After the courses, 74% of respondents indicated that they know more about how QHCs work in practice, and 86% about collaboration or engagement methods. Moreover, participants plan to be more sensitive towards setting common goals (71%) and power imbalances (63%). Trainers’ perceptions align with those expressed by participants, except that they considered that the interaction amongst participants during the course was higher. Qualitative analysis of interviews with participants and the focus group with trainers provides more detail about the strengths and weaknesses of the intervention. Our study shows that the collaborative design and implementation of training impact the participant’s learning competencies, with potential implications in their medium- to long-term practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Knowledge Economy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Sept 2023


  • Collaborative innovation
  • Multi-stakeholder
  • Quadruple helix collaborations
  • Training


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