Government, University and Business Linkages
Edited by Scott Shane
Chapter 9: Universities, Entrepreneurship and Public Policy: Lessons from Abroad
Bo Carlsson INTRODUCTION The purpose of this chapter is to review the recent literature on academic entrepreneurship and public policy, to compare and contrast the research ﬁndings in the United States and overseas and to draw out the policy lessons.1 It is clear from the start that there are fundamental differences between the United States and its foreign competitors in this arena, namely (1) that the legal environment for academic entrepreneurship in the USA differs from that elsewhere, and (2) that the US economy is much more entrepreneurial than most societies elsewhere. This means that the mechanisms used to transfer ideas and research ﬁndings from the academy to business and then to transform them into new businesses are different. Thus the US literature focuses primarily on technology transfer and on examining the institutional features, particularly on the university side, of the university–industry interface. In most of the rest of the world, by contrast, until recently there have been very few technology licensing or tech transfer ofﬁces at universities. This is largely a reﬂection of differences in intellectual property rights. In continental Europe, the inventor (not the university) is the owner of the intellectual property resulting from academic research. As a result, the literature focuses more on other mechanisms of spillover from academic research and examines a broader set of university–industry links, particularly in the form of university spin-offs and industrial liaison ofﬁces. There is also more focus on regional economic development and on regional and...
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