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International Handbook on Industrial Policy

Edited by Patrizio Bianchi and Sandrine Labory

This timely and much-needed Handbook reconsiders an old topic from a fresh perspective, raising a number of new, interesting and worthwhile issues in the wake of ten years of globalization. This comprehensive analysis illustrates that old-style industrial policies whereby the government directly intervened in markets, and was often the producer itself, are no longer relevant. Structural changes occurring in economies – summarized in the term ‘globalization’ – are triggering the definition and implementation of new industrial policies. The contributors, leading experts in their field, unite to evaluate this shift of over a decade ago.
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Chapter 13: Science-based Industries and Spin-offs

Marco Giarratana and Salvatore Torrisi


267 small technology-based firms in Finland shows that established firms represent the most important source of spin-offs while university spin-offs are less frequent (Autio and YliRenko, 1998). Unfortunately, the lack of empirical evidence on corporate spin-offs makes it difficult to obtain accurate estimates of their importance as a source of STSOs. University spin-offs Universities and public research centres represent a significant source of STSO formation. For example, examining a sample of new technology-based firms established in France between 1984 and 1991, Mustar (1997) found that about 40 per cent were founded by scientists employed in public research centres, universities and the system of ‘les grandes écoles’. Similarly, in Ireland and Sweden, a large proportion of STSOs have been founded by former employees of higher institutions (see Storey and Tether, 1998 for a survey). The evidence from Finland suggests that universities or research centres may also offer substantial technological knowledge to non-academic STSOs (Autio and Yli-Renko, 1998). University start-ups typically are spurred by different motivations than corporate spinoffs. For instance, university professors who decide to establish a new firm may be motivated by social recognition, autonomy and control. Unlike many new start-ups spawned by established firms, academic spin-offs, especially in the USA, are often supported by university technology transfer offices (TTO) because they represent a vehicle for commercializing a university’s property rights and demonstrating the contribution of universities to economic growth (Chiesa and Piccaluga, 2000; Nicolaou and Birley, 2003; Feldman,...

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