|University of Oslo
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In the knowledge economy, the university has been granted a third mission of regional economic development. Many research universities have developed closer links to industry through the science parks, university affiliated enterprises and joint research centers to seek to increase external revenue sources. University science parks in China as the incubator of university affiliated enterprises and high-tech firms play an important role in university’s social service function, however, there is little debate on the factors which are influencing university science parks in promoting the third role of university. The thesis is a case study that analyses the development and contributions of Xi’an Jiao Tong University (XJTU) Science Park, one of the 86 national university science parks in China. Even though this university science park is operated by modern enterprises system, it is still under the administration of both university and government and with the participation of industry. It is important to analyze the operation of XJTU Science Park, which involves the interaction among university, industry and government, and identity the factors that affect the development of university science parks. Data was collected through individual interview and national and institutional documents. Based on the triple helix theory approaches, the thesis examines the four dimensions of the triple helix model in Chinese context. Findings of this thesis show that XJTU Science Park made certain of contributions to the university and to regional development; XJTU is developing its third function through the establishment of its university science park; government is still the most important initiator and leader in the development of university science parks as the characteristics of government-pulled triple helix of university, industry and government relations in China.