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From Publishing to Patenting : do Productive Scientists Turn into Academi Inventors ?


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  • Stefano Breschi
  • Francesco Lissoni
  • Fabio Montobbio


[fre] Cet article présente une étude empirique sur la relation entre les activités de dépôts de brevets et celles de publication des chercheurs académiques. Cette étude se base sur un échantillon de dépôt de brevets écrits par des professeurs d'université italiens. En traitant les brevets comme des événements discrets caractérisant l'évolution du travail de publication continu des professeurs, nous concluons qu'il n'existe pas d'arbitrage: les inventeurs académiques ne publient pas moins que leurs collègues qui ne brevètent pas. Il n'existe pas, de surcroît, de biais selon la nature plus ou moins appliquée de la recherche. En revanche, les professeurs les plus productifs ont une probabilité plus importante de déposer au moins un brevet. De même, une augmentation temporaire de la productivité scientifique d'un professeur augmente la probabilité qu'il dépose un brevet. Ces résultats laissent supposer que les brevets peuvent être considérés comme un sous-produit de projets de recherche fertiles. Enfin, les collaborations scientifiques passées avec l'industrie, observées par les publications cosignées, affectent positivement la probabilité de breveter avec une entreprise, surtout dans les biotechnologies et l'industrie pharmaceutique. Ces résultats sont conformes à ceux obtenus récemment aux États-Unis. [eng] The paper presents an empirical study on the relationship between academic researchers' patenting and publishing activities, based upon a sample of patent applications and scientific papers authored by Italian university professors. By treating patents as discrete events punctuating professors' routine publishing activity over time, we conclude that no major trade-off exists: academic inventors do not publish less than their colleagues with no patents, and do not show any bias towards more applied, less basic science. On the contrary, more productive professors are more likely to end up signing one or more patents; in addition, a temporary increase in a professor's scientific productivity increases the probability of a subsequent patenting event, which suggests that patents are the by-product of fertile research projects. Former scientific collaboration with industry, in the form of co-authored papers, affects positively the probability to patent with Business companies, especially in Biology and Pharmaceutics. This evidence is in line with recent results obtained for the US.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue d'économie industrielle.

Volume (Year): 110 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 75-102

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Handle: RePEc:prs:recind:rei_0154-3229_2005_num_110_1_3073

Note: DOI:10.3406/rei.2005.3073
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Cited by:
  1. Lawson Cornelia & Sterzi Valerio, 2012. "The role of early career factors in academic patenting," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201201, University of Turin.
  2. Meissner Cornelia, 2011. "Academic Patenting: Opportunity, Support or Attitude?," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201107, University of Turin.
  3. Van Looy, Bart & Landoni, Paolo & Callaert, Julie & van Pottelsberghe, Bruno & Sapsalis, Eleftherios & Debackere, Koenraad, 2011. "Entrepreneurial effectiveness of European universities: An empirical assessment of antecedents and trade-offs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 553-564, May.
  4. Baldini, Nicola, 2009. "Implementing Bayh-Dole-like laws: Faculty problems and their impact on university patenting activity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1217-1224, October.
  5. Francesco Laforgia & Fabio Montobbio & Luigi Orsenigo, 2007. "IPRs, technological and industrial development and growth: the case of the pharmaceutical industry," KITeS Working Papers 206, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Oct 2007.
  6. Hussler Caroline & Pénin Julien, 2010. "The determinants of scientific research agenda: Why do academic inventors choose to perform patentable versus non-patentable research?," Working Papers of BETA 2010-06, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  7. Welsh, Rick & Glenna, Leland & Lacy, William & Biscotti, Dina, 2008. "Close enough but not too far: Assessing the effects of university-industry research relationships and the rise of academic capitalism," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1854-1864, December.
  8. Beaudry, Catherine & Allaoui, Sedki, 2012. "Impact of public and private research funding on scientific production: The case of nanotechnology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1589-1606.
  9. Nicolas Carayol, 2006. "La production de brevets par les chercheurs et enseignants-chercheurs. Le cas de l'université Louis Pasteur," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 175(4), pages 117-134.


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