Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policies for Growth
Edited by David B. Audretsch and Mary Lindenstein Walshok
Chapter 5: Enhancing economic growth? University technology commercialization
Local and national governments are putting universities under constant pressure to promote economic growth. Commercialization of technology has been identified as the main mechanism by which universities can do this. Existing studies attempt to find one silver bullet that will work for all universities. However, universities are located in specific geographic environments with their own history, which inevitably affects their ability to commercialize technology. Most studies on commercialization of technology do not take those specific conditions into consideration. Traditionally, universities have the two roles of teaching and research, so it is important to understand how they became involved in and implemented technology commercialization, in what has become their third role. Adding commercialization to the university’s roles began in the nineteenth century. A catalyst in this process was the development of important products and services and the reliance on research during two world wars. The importance of universities’ research during that period shifted the view on universities to one as a tool for social change.
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