The Role and Impact of Universities in National Innovation Systems
New Horizons in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Poh Kam Wong
Chapter 5: University Technology Commercialization and Academic Entrepreneurship in Korea: The KAIST Experience
Zong-Tae Bae and Sangmoon Park 5.1 INTRODUCTION Traditionally academic universities have been regarded as the source of basic research and important suppliers of high-caliber graduates for industry and society. Under these expectations of universities, academic researchers in universities have paid little attention to building strong collaborations with industry and commercializing their technological assets. Currently a group of leading universities in the USA has earned sizable economic returns from their technology commercialization and entrepreneurial activities (Siegel et al. 2007; Etzkowitz et al. 2000). These changing roles of universities are influencing university commercialization programs and the Korean government’s policy (KRF 2007). Among the catching-up countries, Korea has shown very successful economic growth based on science and technology (S&T) activities and research and development (R&D) investment (Lee et al. 1988; Kim 1997). In the era of technological catch-up, a major role of Korean universities has been to appropriately supply educated S&T engineers who can understand advanced technologies and modify existing knowledge into upgraded knowledge (Lee 2005). Since the 1990s Korea has been struggling to sustain its global competitiveness among advanced countries and emerging economies. There are increasing demands for new roles of universities, to generate world-class research output and commercialize their own intellectual property. Under much deregulation of university commercialization and entrepreneurial activities, Korean universities are now much more interested in how to commercialize their technologies and knowledge for economic results. However most Korean universities have little experience in, or means of, generating advanced 108 M2781 - WONG TEXT.indd 108...