Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by David Smallbone, João Leitão, Mário Raposo and Friederike Welter
Chapter 3: Overcoming Critical Junctures in Spin-off Companies from Non-elite Universities: Evidence from Catalonia
Pablo Migliorini, Christian Serarols and Andrea Bikfalvi INTRODUCTION The rapid rate of technological change, shorter product life cycles and more intense global competition has radically transformed the current competitive position of many regional economies (O’Shea, 2007, p. 170). A growing policy debate has led governments to increase pressure to develop regional innovation systems. In this respect, policy-makers have recently emphasized the role of universities as agents of knowledge and technology transfer from research institutions to the markets. Universities have been demonstrated as a potential tool for technology/knowledge creation and development. Several authors have stressed the importance of universities and other research institutions in regional economic development through the commercialization of research and through spin-off creation (Dubini 1989; Clayman and Holbrook 2004; Hindle and Yencken 2004; Lowe 2002). In recent years, university spin-off companies (USOs) have become one of the ways of commercially exploiting potentially valuable research. In this respect, Henry Etzkowitz (1998, 2003) has developed a general model to understand the interactions between universities, government and the industries. However, understanding the USO phenomena remains limited. Therefore, greater knowledge of this particular entrepreneurial process and of the resulting companies is needed. In the literature, several authors have stressed the benefits of academic spin-offs. They contribute to regional economic development (Lowe 2002), they generate significant economic value and create jobs (Cohen 2000) and they enhance the commercialization of university technologies, especially 32 M2395 - SMALLBONE PRINT.indd 32 29/9/10 11:51:29 Overcoming critical junctures in spin-off companies 33 those that are uncertain...
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