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A Journal of University-Industry-Government Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Table 1 The four phases of translation

From: Connecting the Triple Helix space: actor-network creation and institutionalisation of knowledge transfer offices

Phase Synthetic description
Problematisation It is characterised by an actor that defines a problem. By revealing the problem to others and how it can be overcome, this actor is trying to put forward an idea and become indispensable, an obligatory point of passage to reach the solution of the identified problem. The starting actor is transformed into a ‘translation enabler’. The beginning of the process for collective engagement may or may not be successful to build the network, and will depend on the arguments, disputes and consensus shared among the various actors in the particular definition of the problem and its solution.
Interessement The ‘translation enabler’ convinces other actors that the problem is also relevant to them and recruits them to assume various roles in the network. They recognise the centrality of the (initial) actor regarding the problem and its resolution. Trials of strength will determine how actors accept the initial vision of the translation enabler or if those involved resist and define divergent objectives, interests and motivations.
Enrolment Actors define and detail acceptance by developing a specific role in the network. This is a period when multilateral negotiations will lead to the success of the definition of the obligatory point of passage. Through a variety of mechanisms, devices and strategies that may involve the simple request to the use of coercion, enrolment will consolidate the roles of actors, resulting in a system committed to a shared goal.
Mobilisation The acceptance of the obligatory points of passage is achieved by stabilising the actor-network. The ‘translation enabler’ is assumed to be the spokesperson of a relatively passive network of actors.
  1. Source: own elaboration