Policies for regional innovation in Sweden rely on the view that different groups of actors enter into collaboration on the basis of a mutual interest. One recent organisational expression of this view is the development of innovation policy and development organisations known as ‘Arenas’. These organisations were modelled on the Triple Helix innovation theory, which is known for promoting innovation as collaboration between industry, university and policy. This paper analyses the historical development of two such Arenas, which were created by public and private actors in two Swedish cities. The study used a historical case-study approach, combined with interviews with project management and project workers, to highlight the difficulties in stabilising broad collaboration patterns. The paper concludes that diverging interests may result in unresolved tensions within Triple Helix Arenas.
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