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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 12: What Europe still has to learn from the US in academic innovation

Hervé Lebret

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


Can we learn anything from ongoing high-tech success stories coming from the US in the last half-century? Europe and the rest of the world have tried to understand and copy technology clusters such as Silicon Valley and the Boston Area without much success. It is now generally acknowledged that it is not possible to copy and paste the American model on the Old Continent, but that does not mean that efforts should not be renewed. New lessons might be learnt from these failures. First, technology innovation is a culture; it is not a process that can be planned. Secondly, high-tech entrepreneurship requires a combination of human and financial resources, which are very different from those needed in traditional industries. If we can agree upon these lessons, Europe might be in a position to fight back.

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