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The DANS Model explained

The aim of the model is to inspire and integrate the citizen as a fourth helix in the regional ICT innovation process and policies to promote the implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe towards a digital society.

Introducing the citizen as a fourth helix in a Quadruple Helix Model

To get a brief introduction of how the DANS  Quadruple Helix Model works, watch  this short movie.

All need to be involved

All actors in the society need to be involved to support and succeed with the implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe. In the traditional view, actors such as public authorities, industry and academia form a triple helix structure for innovation. But in this Triple Helix Model, citizens are left to the role of passive recipients, consumers or end-users who only assimilate the products and services developed in mass production for the market.

In the DANS cluster view, also the citizens should be included in driving innovation in regions of Europe and therefore be a part of the partnership, to interact and collaborate with regional and local innovations systems for ICT. By expanding the Triple Helix model with a fourth helix, including the citizen, a Quadruple Helix Model can be created.

Quadruple Helix Model and citizen perspective fits and is suitable for operations near the innovation processes where the citizen needs are central, as in health care, public e-services, energy efficiency, and smart transportation. User oriented innovation also creates greater social benefit at a lower cost and by offering user friendly products and services it also strengthens the ability of users to influence their daily lives and society at large. It also provides with a bottom-up perspective, as a counterweight to the otherwise prevailing top-down perspective in the research and innovation process.

The DANS Model is to be seen an additional tool, pointing the way for the benefit of local and regional innovation systems, to improve performance, collaboration and the impact of innovation by increasing the involvement of citizen as a consumer and user in innovation.

The DANS Model

The DANS Model

Who is the Citizen?

The citizen is a user or a prospective user of ICT. As a fourth player in the QH model, “citizen” can vary from the individual to the organizational levels, from individual citizen, consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, independent contractor, to non-profit organizations or associations.


The DANS Model has been evolved from the rich results of the E-CLIC Model, which was a model tested and evaluated for regional and transnational collaboration in the field of innovation, applied research and development of broadband media services over the course of three and a half years.

This Quadruple Helix Model has been created by the Digital Agenda for the North Sea (DANS)
cluster project, a transnational project, co-financed by the INTERREG IVB North Sea Region programme.

Three INTERREG IVB projects, Creative City Challenge , E-CLIC, and Smart cities form the basis of the DANS cluster, with the aim to provide a solid basis for the implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) , in the North Sea Region. One of the objectives in the DANS cluster project is to develop and disseminate a DANS collaboration model for the implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe on a local and regional level, to further maximize the social and economic potential of ICT by promoting ICT innovation.

> The DANS Model. Supporting the Implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe on Regional Level in the North Sea Region (PDF)

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