Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Hans Landström, Hans Crijns, Eddy Laveren and David Smallbone
Chapter 13: On the Role of Academic Staff as Entrepreneurs in University Spin-offs: Case Studies of Biotechnology Firms in Norway
13. On the role of academic staﬀ as entrepreneurs in university spinoﬀs: case studies of biotechnology ﬁrms in Norway Olav R. Spilling INTRODUCTION Over the last decades, an increasing interest has developed in the ﬁeld of technology transfer from academic institutions, and as part of this a growing awareness of the importance of university spin-oﬀs and academic entrepreneurship has evolved. The purpose of this chapter is to focus on university spin-oﬀs and analyse the role of academic staﬀ in the processes of developing new ﬁrms spinning out from universities. While the concept of academic entrepreneurship may be perceived as a fairly wide concept, including all types of entrepreneurial activity conducted by academic people, the concept of university spin-oﬀ focuses more narrowly on the businesses starting up based on new knowledge developed in a university department or a related research institute (Shane, 2004). In this chapter focus is on the fairly complicated processes that may follow in the attempts of developing a new business based on research results and, in particular, focus is on the role of academic staﬀ in such processes and how academic staﬀ may contribute as entrepreneurs in the formation of new spin-oﬀ businesses. The literature on academic entrepreneurship, commercialization of research based knowledge and university spin-oﬀs is fairly rich. However, much of the literature is based on a simple stage model approach for analysing processes of commercialization, and there are tendencies to overlook how complicated such processes may be. Furthermore, although there are...
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