The limits of academic entrepreneurship: Conflicting expectations about commercialization and innovation in China's nascent sector for advanced bio-energy technologies
Journal article, 2018

Despite many years of substantial government research funding, advanced bio-energy technologies in China have seen limited commercial application. Chinese policy makers are increasingly critical of academic organizations for neglecting their role in the transfer of scientific results into industrial applications. We interviewed a selection of Chinese research groups working on bio-energy technologies, and asked them to describe their efforts at commercialization. We found that they focus their research on technological pathways with commercial potential, they patent and attempt to license their technologies, they are highly involved in large scale demonstration plants, and have created a number of new firms. Industry and government may have unrealistic expectations on the maturity and scale of technologies that academia can develop, however. These findings contrast with many earlier analyses of early commercialization stages of novel technologies, which have commonly identified lacking academic entrepreneurship as a root cause in stalling development.


Technology transfer and commercialization


Academic entrepreneurship

Third mission


Jorrit Gosens

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Hans Hellsmark

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Tomas Kåberger

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Li Liu

Tsinghua University

Björn Sandén

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Shurong Wang

Zhejiang University

Lei Zhao

Symbior Energy

Energy Research and Social Science

2214-6296 (eISSN)

Vol. 37 1-11

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

History of Technology

Business Administration



More information

Latest update