Handbook of Research on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Edited by David B. Audretsch, Oliver Falck, Stephan Heblich and Adam Lederer

Leading researchers use their outstanding expertise to investigate various aspects in the context of innovation and entrepreneurship such as growth, knowledge production and spillovers, technology transfer, the organization of the firm, industrial policy, financing, small firms and start-ups, and entrepreneurship education as well as the characteristics of the entrepreneur.
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Chapter 20: The Innovator’s Decision: Entrepreneurship versus Technology Transfer

Daniel F. Spulber


Daniel F. Spulber INTRODUCTION The connection between innovation and entrepreneurship is the subject of some debate. Are all innovators entrepreneurs? Are all entrepreneurs innovators? This debate is extremely important because of the critical role of innovation in fostering economic growth. Resolving the debate has major public policy implications because it can determine whether governments choose actions that encourage or discourage innovation. Fortunately, it is possible to disentangle these two distinct concepts. The discussion presented here attempts to resolve the debates by defining and specifying the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship. Innovation, which is the commercialization of invention, consists of two main actions: the innovator must obtain the invention and the innovator must provide the invention. The activities required to obtain the invention range from buying the invention from the inventor to developing the invention: license the invention from an inventor; purchase the invention from an inventor; hire an inventor to conduct research and to develop the invention; form a partnership with an inventor to conduct research and to develop the invention; and become an inventor and conduct R&D. The activities required to provide the invention range from selling the invention to users to applying the invention in production and design and selling the results: license the invention to the user; sell the invention to a user; form a partnership with a user to apply the invention; and become a user of the invention by applying it in manufacturing and product design. Entrepreneurship is the establishment of a firm; see...

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