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Edited by Patrizio Bianchi and Sandrine Labory
13 Science-based industries and spin-oﬀs Marco Giarratana and Salvatore Torrisi 1 Introduction Science-based and high-technology industries are a major source of economic growth and competitiveness. An important mechanism through which these industries generate beneﬁts for the economy as a whole is new ﬁrm formation. The empirical evidence shows that high-tech industries have larger start-up rates compared with other industries (Shane, 2001). In particular, entry of new ﬁrms is more likely to occur in ‘entrepreneurial technological regimes’ characterized by high technological opportunities and low entry barriers. However, in industries characterized by high technological change and uncertainty only a few new ﬁrms survive and therefore the likelihood of growth and survival is limited. It is important then to understand what are the growth potentialities of diﬀerent types of new science and technology-based ﬁrms (NSTF). The relevance of these issues for industrial policies is demonstrated by the marked diﬀerences between Europe and the USA in terms of science-based entrepreneurship and post-entry growth of new start-ups, including those in high-tech industries (Bartlesman et al., 2003). Scholars and policy makers agree that the European ‘innovation deﬁcit’ is in part due to the limited new ﬁrm formation in science-based industries. Several recent empirical works focus especially on the links between university and industry. Compared with the US academic system, European universities have limited technology transfer activities and spawn a much smaller number of spin-oﬀs (Debackere et al., 1999; Henrekson and Rosenberg, 2001; Di Gregorio and Shane, 2003). To track this...
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