The Role of Science and Multinationals
Edited by Grazia D. Santangelo
Chapter 4: Patenting in Public Research: An Evidence-based Reflection on IPRs and the Basic–Applied Research Trade-off
4. Patenting in public research. An evidence-based reﬂection on IPRs and the basic–applied research trade-oﬀ Mario Calderini and Chiara Franzoni 1. INTRODUCTION In recent years, extensive scientiﬁc literature has dealt with technology transfer and with the mechanisms that allow appropriability of social beneﬁts from innovation (Martin and Scott, 2000). Much of this debate has focused on the capability of local innovation systems to provide coordination among the actors of technological change and empowered transfer mechanisms. Related to the above-mentioned debate, policy makers have encouraged publicly funded research institutes to smooth the transfer of results from science to industry by means of joint research agreements, by creating spinoﬀ ﬁrms, and by establishing intellectual property rights (IPRs) over results of research. Increasingly, legitimization of public research seems to be linked to the ability of national and local systems of innovation to directly beneﬁt from science and to engage in positive exchanges with industry (Gibbons, 1999; Martin, 2001; Etzkowitz et al., 2000). The above trend has been guided in many countries by both political and regulatory actions, which overall resulted in an increase of technology transfer from public research (Mowery et al., 2002; Thursby and Kemp, 2002). However, this evidence of empowered commercialization of research reopened the debate in sociology and economics of science on the dangers of linking science to the market. On the one hand, it is not clear whether this increase has come at the expense of the economic value and quality of transferred technologies...
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