Investigating the complexity facing academic entrepreneurs in science and engineering: the complementarities of research performance, networks and support structures in commercialisation
Journal article, 2012
The relative importance, and specific role, of academic entrepreneurship in society has long focused upon productivity in terms of commercialization of research. Public policy is an instrument used in different countries to stimulate start-up companies, including attempts to influence national institutions, university structures, and the incentives of individual researchers. This paper contributes with an analysis of Sweden, which has retained the ‘professor’s privilege, whereby the individual retains inventor rights and can choose to allocate ownership rights. The descriptive results of the survey revealed that academics have positive attitudes to commercialization and relatively satisfactory commercialization output. This paper examines the complementarities of research performance, networks and support structure in explaining commercialization amongst university researchers in science and engineering in Sweden. The results show that publishing is positively correlated with commercialization and that support structures play an important role through TTOs, courses and incubators. The paper ends by using these results in order to discuss the implications for public policy.