Academic Entrepreneurship in Europe

Academic Entrepreneurship in Europe

Mike Wright, Bart Clarysse, Philippe Mustar and Andy Lockett

This book advances our understanding of university spin-off creation and development in environments outside the high-tech clusters of the US. While there has been substantial university spin-off activity internationally in recent years, a number of major aspects are little understood. The authors argue that the nature of universities is changing as reduced public funding reflects a public debate on their role in society. An important aspect of this international phenomenon is an increased emphasis on the commercialization of university research and on academic entrepreneurship. These new ventures therefore involve the spinning-off of technology and knowledge generated by universities.

Chapter 4: Processes at the Institutional Level: Incubation Models

Mike Wright, Bart Clarysse, Philippe Mustar and Andy Lockett

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship


1 4.1 INTRODUCTION In this chapter we explore the processes for the incubation of spin-offs at different European universities and public research organizations. Many public research organizations, especially in Europe, operate in environments where high-tech entrepreneurship is relatively new. The spin-off process is likely to pose different challenges in these contexts compared with more developed high-tech entrepreneurial environments such as Boston or Silicon Valley (Roberts, 1991; Roberts and Malone, 1996). In contrast to a developed environment with a strong entrepreneurial community, in less developed environments there may be an important need for a proactive incubation role by public research organizations. A university or public research organization (PRO) engaging in spinning-off companies can adopt a range of support activities to provide the venture with the resources and capabilities it needs to develop through its different phases (see Chapter 5). The ability to provide necessary support activities and resources may vary between public research organizations and may be associated with different types of spin-offs. The number of spin-offs created with external equity investment appear to be significantly associated with expenditure on intellectual property protection and the business development capabilities of technology transfer offices, rather than the number of technology transfer staff, the age of the technology transfer office or the available technology (Di Gregorio and Shane, 2003; Lockett and Wright, 2005; Siegel et al., 2003a). However, the differing nature of incubation strategies is not well understood. In this chapter we examine the...

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