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Chapter 10: The Size and the Characteristics of the High-Tech Spin-Off Phenomenon in Sophia Antipolis
10 The size and the characteristics of the high-tech spin-oﬀ phenomenon in Sophia Antipolis Michael Bernasconi and Dominique Jolly The creation of new companies from existing organizations, termed ‘spin-oﬀs’, is a phenomenon which has been observed and described over a large number of years. In the speciﬁc area of high-technology, spin-oﬀs are considered an important source of new companies (Cooper, 1972). The internal dynamic of Silicon Valley comes from the continuous emergence of new spin-oﬀ companies set up by former executives of big companies (Storper, 1993). For example, the majority of the 31 semiconductor ﬁrms started in Silicon Valley in the 1960s traced their lineage to Fairchild (Saxenian, 1994). Spin-oﬀ activity is therefore considered a key factor in the technology transfer and collective learning process within an innovative milieu (Camagni, 1991). Our aim is to shed light on the spin-oﬀ phenomenon in a high-tech park where it has not previously been analysed in detail. The objective of this research is to complement former research by describing the spin-oﬀs, academic and non-academic, in relation to the development of Sophia Antipolis. At present we lack a global understanding of the spinoﬀ activity within Sophia Antipolis. No research has been carried out to date to give a clear overview of the dimensions of the global phenomenon on a quantitative basis, through either a comparative analysis of academic and non-academic spin-oﬀs or an assessment of the economic characteristic of those companies. This research is, therefore, the ﬁrst step of...
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