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 6: Proprietary versus Public Domain Licensing of Software and Research Products

Alfonso Gambardella and Bronwyn H. Hall

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


Alfonso Gambardella and Bronwyn H. Hall INTRODUCTION 1. In the modern academic research setting, many disciplines produce software and databases as a by-product of their own activities, and also use the software and data generated by others. As Dalle (2003) and Maurer (2002) have documented, many of these research products are distributed and transferred to others using institutions that range from commercial exploitation to ‘free’ forms of open source. Many of the structures used in the latter case resemble the traditional ways in which the ‘Republic of Science’ has ensured that research spillovers are available at low cost to all. But in some cases, moves toward closing the source code and commercial development take place, often resulting either in the disappearance of open source versions or in ‘forking’, where an open source solution survives simultaneously with the provision of a closed commercial version of the same product. This has also created tensions between the reward systems of the ‘Republic of Science’ and the private sector, especially when the production of research software or the creation of scientific databases is carried out in academic and scientific research environments (see also Hall, 2004). As these inputs to scientific research have become more important and their value has grown, a number of questions and problems have arisen surrounding their provision. How do we ensure that incentives are in place to encourage their supply? How do market and non-market production of these knowledge inputs interact? In this chapter, we address some of these questions....

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