Promoting and Measuring University-Based Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Paper i proceeding, 2006
There exists an imperative in many countries to find effective paths for utilization of the knowledge created within their borders. To a large extent, these activities are entrusted to universities. Thus, they receive considerable resources to not only facilitate knowledge and research activities, but also to identify, package and transfer the results to society, stimulating university-based innovation and entrepreneurship. The U.S. regulation structure of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 has become a benchmark model for commercialization. Revenue resulting from transferred intellectual property (IP) is often redistributed not only to the university, but also key actors and their associative groups, often with the intention to support and sustain both academic research and commercialization activities. Even so, university-based development and investment in the creation of entrepreneurial environments is ambiguous at best. Although some initiatives seem to have effects in both innovation and entrepreneurship, such as venture creation, they often only account for parts of the effects achieved. As innovation and entrepreneurship programs continue to permeate through regions, there is a risk their full value is not acknowledged. Long-term infrastructural results might be overshadowed by metrics for short-term success and vice versa imprecise infrastructural effects might be sought while missing opportunities for stating concrete examples and creating role models through more immediate success. This paper derives and organizes a framework for promoting innovation and/or entrepreneurship at universities, by comparing different university settings and linking both their experiences and expectations to innovation and entrepreneurship theory. The purpose is to provide university policy-makers with tools to account for effects and identify metrics suitable and adaptable to their unique environments. Universities must continue to strive to maintain their long-term aspirations. At the same time, individual and team-based processes are vital to sustain in the proposed platform framework to university-based innovation and entrepreneurship.