Government, University and Business Linkages
New Horizons in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Scott Shane
Scott Shane THE PURPOSE Entrepreneurship is often seen by policy makers as a key mechanism for enhancing economic development, particularly in regions where entrepreneurial activity was once vibrant and is now lagging. To policy makers, entrepreneurship is a good solution because it provides a relatively noncontroversial way to increase the proverbial pie, creating jobs and enhancing per capita income growth. Therefore government ofﬁcials frequently search for mechanisms to enhance entrepreneurial activity in their regions, whether those mechanisms are tax policies, ﬁnancing subsidies or other tools. Universities are also seen as valuable institutions for economic development. Perhaps because the primary mission of universities is education, and education is viewed by virtually everyone as good, and perhaps because universities are among the most geographically stable entities in existence, rarely relocating to other locales, policy makers often look to ways to turn universities in their regions into engines of economic development. Mechanisms to enhance technology transfer from universities, to reduce brain drain out of a region, and policies to create linkages between universities and industry are among the many efforts chosen by policy makers to use universities to enhance regional economic development. Recently anecdotal evidence has begun to emerge to suggest that these two economic development efforts are not independent. Policy makers are beginning to examine the role of universities as entities to enhance economic development in regions through their effect on entrepreneurial activity. Whether the anecdotes focus on the creation of university spin-off companies to exploit intellectual property created at universities...