Adding Licensing and Venture Creation to a University Mission of Open Exchange
Paper i proceeding, 2005
Universities have, for a long time, gained societal recognition and interest through their ability to govern a global system of open science and open exchange as well as a system for building of recognition capital, for researchers and students. Universities are increasingly becoming commercial actors, particularly in terms of performing licensing activities and investing in ventures. As universities take on new roles and develop new practices for commodifying new knowledge into licenses or new ventures, questions arise about the future role and idea of universities as such, as well as around the actual practical and managerial consequences. However, if universities are to walk down paths of commodification at all and strong defacto arguments for this can be made today there is reason to search for a new intellectual infrastructure of universities, in which the commercial roles and practices of universities can converge and make sense in the knowledge economy. While providing two significantly different case illustrations Columbia University in New York and Chalmers in Sweden with some converging trends, the paper conceptualizes elements of a new university infrastructure both in terms of the role played and norms applied, as well as in terms of an object-oriented process for commodifying inventions into intellectual property (IP).