Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Growth and Performance
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Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Growth and Performance

Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research

Edited by Hans Landström, Hans Crijns, Eddy Laveren and David Smallbone

This book provides an invaluable, state-of-the-art overview of current European research in the field of entrepreneurship. It focuses on four themes, each of which illustrates a key dimension in the overall theme: • entrepreneurs and their role in entrepreneurship • entrepreneurship in family businesses • performance of new ventures and • entrepreneurial processes.
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Chapter 13: On the Role of Academic Staff as Entrepreneurs in University Spin-offs: Case Studies of Biotechnology Firms in Norway

Olav R. Spilling


13. On the role of academic staff as entrepreneurs in university spinoffs: case studies of biotechnology firms in Norway Olav R. Spilling INTRODUCTION Over the last decades, an increasing interest has developed in the field of technology transfer from academic institutions, and as part of this a growing awareness of the importance of university spin-offs and academic entrepreneurship has evolved. The purpose of this chapter is to focus on university spin-offs and analyse the role of academic staff in the processes of developing new firms spinning out from universities. While the concept of academic entrepreneurship may be perceived as a fairly wide concept, including all types of entrepreneurial activity conducted by academic people, the concept of university spin-off focuses more narrowly on the businesses starting up based on new knowledge developed in a university department or a related research institute (Shane, 2004). In this chapter focus is on the fairly complicated processes that may follow in the attempts of developing a new business based on research results and, in particular, focus is on the role of academic staff in such processes and how academic staff may contribute as entrepreneurs in the formation of new spin-off businesses. The literature on academic entrepreneurship, commercialization of research based knowledge and university spin-offs is fairly rich. However, much of the literature is based on a simple stage model approach for analysing processes of commercialization, and there are tendencies to overlook how complicated such processes may be. Furthermore, although there are...

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