Orientation, Environment and Strategy
The McGill International Entrepreneurship series
Chapter 4: Academic Entrepreneurship and Internationalization of Technology-Based SMEs
4. Academic entrepreneurship and internationalization of technologybased SMEs Gabriele Beibst and Arndt Lautenschläger INTRODUCTION: UNIVERSITY-BASED START-UPS AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN TECHNOLOGY In a globalized economy, the future of industrialized economies such as Great Britain, Germany and the USA depends on their competence, willingness and freedom to innovate and to build up a knowledge- and technology-based industry. The technologically advanced economies will only compete successfully on global markets by increasing productivity through process innovation as well as innovation in creating new products and services. This requires a fast transformation of research and development (R&D) results into commercial products. A glance at successful technology regions shows that innovative business start-ups play a major role in creating a competitive technology-based industry (Röpke, 1998, p. 13). Entrepreneurial firms provide a variety of innovations and technologies to cope with more turbulent dynamics of global competition (ibid., p. 2). Spin-off companies from universities in particular introduce a relatively larger share of commercially-oriented innovations to the market place than others (Abernathy and Utterback, 1978). The experience of successful firms in high-technology regions, including those in the Silicon Valley area and the Boston region in the United States (Saxenian, 1994) and the Oxford and Cambridge regions in the UK (Wicksteed, 1985), highlight several issues: (a) in each of these regions one or more universities have been actively involved in building commercial links with the business community; (b) these universities have become directly involved in establishing companies of their own, staffed by researchers, for marketing scientific...
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