Chapter 3: Knowledge spillovers and commercialization in universities and their regions
Recent theoretical and empirical research (Acs et al., 2009; Audretsch and Lehmann, 2005) have focused on the creation and transmission of knowledge as the front end of the technical change process and more generally the full commercialization of knowledge (Chesbrough et al., 2006). A reasonable conclusion from this work is that knowledge and its transformation into economically useful knowledge is a basic element if not the key to the origins and nature of the technical change process. Herein we explore and examine the concept of the transformation of knowledge into economically useful knowledge. Critical to this examination is the idea that barriers lie between the end points of this process. We organize our analysis of such barriers around three theoretical constructs: the knowledge filter and knowledge absorption, which are reasonably well developed concepts, and a new concept that we introduce called the innovation column, which may be viewed as helping to structure the discussion on barriers to knowledge commercialization. The last part of the chapter presents a case study in an effort to illustrate how the conceptual discussion can inform policy and programmatic decisions at the university level on the one hand and contribute to an improved knowledge filter at the regional level.
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