The Capitalization of Knowledge

The Capitalization of Knowledge

A Triple Helix of University–Industry–Government

Edited by Riccardo Viale and Henry Etzkowitz

This ground-breaking new volume evaluates the capacity of the triple helix model to represent the recent evolution of local and national systems of innovation. It analyses both the success of the triple helix as a descriptive and empirical model within internationally competitive technology regions as well as its potential as a prescriptive hypothesis for regional or national systems that wish to expand their innovation processes and industrial development. In addition, it examines the legal, economic, administrative, political and cognitive dimensions employed to configure and study, in practical terms, the series of phenomena contained in the triple helix category.

Chapter 1: Knowledge-driven Capitalization of Knowledge

Riccardo Viale

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, knowledge management, economics and finance, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, knowledge management


Riccardo Viale INTRODUCTION Capitalization of knowledge happens when knowledge generates an economic added value. The generation of economic value can be said to be ‘direct’ when one sells the knowledge for some financial, material or behavioural good. The generation of economic value is considered ‘indirect’ when it allows the production of some material or service goods that are sold on the market. The direct mode comprises the sale of personal know-how, such as in the case of a plumber or of a sports instructor. It also comprises the sale of intellectual property, as in the case of patents, copyrights or teaching. The indirect mode comprises the ways in which organizational, declarative and procedural knowledge is embodied in goods or services. The economic return in both cases can be financial (e.g. cash), material (e.g. the exchange of consumer goods) or behavioural (e.g. the exchange of personal services). In ancient times, the direct and indirect capitalization of knowledge was based mainly on procedural knowledge. Artisans, craftsmen, doctors and engineers sold their know-how in direct or indirect ways within a market or outside of it. Up to the First Industrial Revolution, the knowledge that could be capitalized remained mainly procedural. Few were the inventors that sold their designs and blueprints for the construction of military or civil machines and mechanisms. There were some exceptions, as in the case of Leonardo da Vinci and several of his inventions, but, since technological knowledge remained essentially tacit, it drove a capitalization based primarily on the direct...

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