European Research in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Alain Fayolle and Paula Kyrö
Chapter 6: University Entrepreneurship and Government Support Schemes
Einar Rasmussen, Odd Jarl Borch and Roger Sørheim INTRODUCTION The formation of spin-oﬀ companies from research organizations is seen as one of the most eﬀective ways of commercializing new knowledge and technology (Bray and Lee, 2000; Brett et al., 1991; Davenport et al., 2002; Rogers et al., 2001). It is found that university spin-oﬀs often commercialize early-stage inventions where existing companies fail to commercialize or show no interest in the technology (Matkin, 1990; Thursby et al., 2001). Furthermore, several studies indicate that the formation of spin-oﬀ companies is a more successful route to commercialization of university inventions than licensing (Bray and Lee, 2000; Gregory and Sheahen, 1991; Rogers et al., 2001). Thus, the university spin-oﬀ ﬁrm may be seen as a distinct channel for technology transfer for some types of inventions. National and regional authorities see a potential for economic growth and increased employment resulting from the resources that are invested in the universities (OECD, 2000), and universities are seen as engines of regional economic growth (Candell and Jaﬀe, 1999). In the US, the number of university patents, licenses, and equity ownerships has grown dramatically in the last 20 years, partly following the implementation of the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980 (Mowery et al., 2001). The great success in the US in bringing new research ﬁndings to the marketplace has inspired countries to undertake reforms aiming to increase the extent of commercialization of research, by changes both in the academic system and in the instruments for research...
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