Government, University and Business Linkages
New Horizons in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Scott Shane
Chapter 1: An Historical Perspective on Government-University Partnerships to Enhance Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
1. An historical perspective on government–university partnerships to enhance entrepreneurship and economic development Irwin Feller INTRODUCTION This chapter offers an historical perspective on two highly visible recent developments in the efforts of American research universities to contribute to national and regional economic growth. The developments are, ﬁrst, the advent, or what might be more correctly termed the rebirth and expansion, of university–industry–government R&D programs (Mowery and Rosenberg, 1993; Cohen et al., 1994), and, second, the rapid growth of academic programs intended to foster entrepreneurship. The ﬁrst section opens with exegesis on the multiple meanings and uses of the term ‘entrepreneurship’; frequent as such treatments are, yet another one is necessary here as the chapter’s level of analysis is funneled down from broad historical themes to its narrower focus on the modern panoply of university–industry–government/small business R&D/academic entrepreneurship programs. The second section presents an overview of facets of America’s economic history. The third section describes the economic and policy conditions in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s; these decades are seen as setting the more immediate stage for current interest in university–industry–government R&D partnership and entrepreneurship programs. The last section opens with a summary assessment of evaluation-based ﬁndings about the impacts of government–university R&D partnerships and concludes with a statement of unresolved policy issues and, thus, research questions. OVERVIEW AND LIMITATIONS The chapter’s focus is on what Audretsch et al. (2002) have termed public/ private technology partnerships,...
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