A Triple Helix of University–Industry–Government
Edited by Riccardo Viale and Henry Etzkowitz
Chapter 1: Knowledge-driven Capitalization of Knowledge
1. Knowledge-driven capitalization of knowledge Riccardo Viale INTRODUCTION Capitalization of knowledge happens when knowledge generates an economic added value. The generation of economic value can be said to be ‘direct’ when one sells the knowledge for some financial, material or behavioural good. The generation of economic value is considered ‘indirect’ when it allows the production of some material or service goods that are sold on the market. The direct mode comprises the sale of personal know-how, such as in the case of a plumber or of a sports instructor. It also comprises the sale of intellectual property, as in the case of patents, copyrights or teaching. The indirect mode comprises the ways in which organizational, declarative and procedural knowledge is embodied in goods or services. The economic return in both cases can be financial (e.g. cash), material (e.g. the exchange of consumer goods) or behavioural (e.g. the exchange of personal services). In ancient times, the direct and indirect capitalization of knowledge was based mainly on procedural knowledge. Artisans, craftsmen, doctors and engineers sold their know-how in direct or indirect ways within a market or outside of it. Up to the First Industrial Revolution, the knowledge that could be capitalized remained mainly procedural. Few were the inventors that sold their designs and blueprints for the construction of military or civil machines and mechanisms. There were some exceptions, as in the case of Leonardo da Vinci and several of his inventions, but, since technological knowledge remained essentially tacit, it drove a capitalization...
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