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Knowledge Commercialization and Valorization in Regional Economic Development

Knowledge Commercialization and Valorization in Regional Economic Development

Edited by Tüzin Baycan

The commercialization of academic knowledge is increasingly seen as a potential economic development model, particularly for improving the capabilities and economic performance of regions. This insightful volume investigates the emerging factors in knowledge commercialization from an international perspective and highlights research agendas and challenges to be met across academia, industry and government.

Chapter 12: The impact of human resource factors on university patent technology transfer activities in China – based on the analysis of provincial panel data

Kai Rao, Andrea Piccaluga and Xian-fei Meng

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, economics and finance, regional economics, innovation and technology, knowledge management, urban and regional studies, regional economics


In the process of technological innovation and industrial upgrading, governments worldwide have come to realize the key role that universities play in the development of the knowledge economy (Tu and Wu, 2006). The mission of universities has transformed gradually from ‘teaching-oriented’ to ‘research-oriented’, and then to ‘entrepreneurial’ (Lazzeroni and Piccaluga, 2003). For a long time universities have been ‘ivory towers’, with negligible connection with industry and society (Ndonzuau et al., 2002). In recent years, they have become increasingly entrepreneurial and are becoming network organizations in the Western countries (Butera, 2000; Lazzeroni and Piccaluga, 2003). The so-called ‘entrepreneurial university’ was originated in the US with the introduction of the Bayh-Dole Act in 1981 and spread to Europe later on. In spite of the popularity of such a change in university mission, moving towards a more entrepreneurial style is still difficult and is met with criticism (for instance, Gibbons, 1999; Kelch, 2002), which is mainly based on the ‘corporate manipulation thesis’, referring to loss of integrity and independence of universities, especially concerning their research agenda (Goldfarb and Henrekson, 2003). However, some researchers have pointed out the benefits of a more entrepreneurial university. Baldini (2006) argues that technology transfer (TT) activities and scientific excellence can mutually reinforce.

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