Chapter 2: Public Policies to Foster Academic Spin-Offs
2. Public policies to foster academic spin-oﬀs 2.1 INTRODUCTION For the past 15 years or so, academic research spin-oﬀs have received increasing attention by government authorities in the leading scientiﬁcally developed countries. The capacity of prestigious US universities to generate new companies from Genentech to Google has highlighted the strategic role of public-sector research, not only in the generation of new knowledge and technology but also in the creation and development of high-growth technological ﬁrms. Spin-oﬀs from universities and publicsector research institutes have become a key issue in government research and innovation policy in many countries. Although the creation of academic spin oﬀs is nothing new, what is original is the extent of the phenomenon and the fact that public policies have being introduced to encourage the commercial exploitation of public-sector research results through new businesses. The genesis of this public policy, which is directly orientated towards the stimulation of spin-oﬀs, can be found in the broader technology policy actions that were developed in the early 1980s in most European countries, following the single European Treaty at the EU level. This treaty launched the ﬁrst framework programme through which the public ﬁnance of R&D was organized (European Report on Science and Technology Indicators, 1994). The general idea was that European companies should catch up in terms of R&D with their US equivalents. It was stipulated that especially the so-called new or emerging technologies needed some public support, so action programmes in biotechnology...
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