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Academic Spin-Offs and Technology Transfer in Europe

Academic Spin-Offs and Technology Transfer in Europe

Best Practices and Breakthrough Models

Edited by Sven H. De Cleyn and Gunter Festel

While the US has traditionally been successful in commercialising new technologies, Europe is confronted with an increasing dependency for fast developing technologies like biotechnology or ICT, despite having some of the best universities in the world. This book will explore the key attributes of commercialising academic knowledge, focusing on spin-offs. Bringing together the visions and best practices used by leading academics and professionals across Europe, the editors provide new and practical insights on the topic in an attempt to resolve the European paradox.

Chapter 6: ‘Intrapreneurship at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’: how to stimulate greater entrepreneurship among researchers

Julia Bauer, Matthias Keckl, Thorsten Lambertus and Björn Schmalfuß

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, knowledge management, innovation and technology, innovation policy, knowledge management, technology and ict


The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization, carrying out practical research in close cooperation with its customers. At present, Fraunhofer maintains 67 institutes and research units across Germany and also operates subsidiaries abroad. Fraunhofer Venture is the technology transfer office for Fraunhofer start-ups. However, the number of spin-offs emerging from Fraunhofer institutes is stagnating. This is due to Fraunhofer’s strong links to industry as well as a flourishing economy. Due to the high number of industry projects, Fraunhofer researchers have limited time to work on their own ideas; furthermore, in the current economy, the industry offers well-paid and stable jobs. Moreover, the senior management of Fraunhofer institutes is hesitant to support spin-offs because talented researchers with technological know-how could then leave their institutes.

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