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Exploring the relationship between scientist human capital and firm performance: The case of biomedical academic entrepreneurs in the SBIR program

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  • Czarnitzki, Dirk
  • Toole, Andrew A.

Abstract

Do academic scientists bring valuable human capital to the companies they found or join? If so, what are the particular skills that compose their human capital and how are these skills related to firm performance? This paper examines these questions using a particular group of academic entrepreneurs – biomedical research scientists who choose to commercialize their knowledge through the U.S. Small Business Innovation Research Program. Our conceptual framework assumes the nature of an academic entrepreneurs? prior research reflects the development of their human capital. We highlight differences in firm performance that correlate with differences in the scientists? research orientations developed during their academic careers. We find that biomedical academic entrepreneurs with human capital oriented toward exploring scientific opportunities significantly improve their firms? performance of research tasks such as ?proof of concept? studies. Biomedical academic entrepreneurs with human capital oriented toward exploring commercial opportunities significantly improve their firms? performance of invention oriented tasks such as patenting. Consistent with prior evidence, there also appears to be a form of diminishing returns to scientifically oriented human capital in a commercialization environment. Holding the commercial orientation of the scientists? human capital constant, we find that increasing their human capital for identifying and exploring scientific opportunities significantly detracts from their firms? patenting performance. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 07-011.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5498

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Keywords: Academic Entrepreneurship; SBIR Program; Human Capital; Biotechnology;

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Cited by:
  1. Jose Maria Millan & Emilio Congregado & Concepcion Roman & Mirjam van Praag & Andre van Stel, 2011. "The Value of an Educated Population for an Individual's Entrepreneurship Success," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-066/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 06 May 2014.
  2. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Hussinger, Katrin & Schneider, Cedric, 2008. "Commercializing Academic Research: The Qaulity of Faculty Patenting," Working Papers, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics 05-2008, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  3. Mahoney, Joseph T., 2012. "Towards a Stakeholder Theory of Strategic Management," Working Papers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business 12-0100, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
  4. Michael Fritsch & Stefan Krabel, 2012. "Ready to leave the ivory tower?: Academic scientists’ appeal to work in the private sector," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 271-296, June.
  5. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Rammer, Christian & Toole, Andrew A., 2013. "University spinoffs and the 'performance premium'," ZEW Discussion Papers, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research 13-004, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Stefan Krabel & Donald Siegel & Viktor Slavtchev, 2012. "The internationalization of science and its influence on academic entrepreneurship," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 192-212, April.
  7. Rivera, Rene & Sampedro, Jose Luis & Dutrenit, Gabriela & Ekboir, Javier Mario & Vera-Cruz, Alexandre O., 2009. "How productive are academic researchers in agriculture-related sciences? The Mexican case," MERIT Working Papers 038, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  8. Rivera-Huerta, René & Dutrénit, Gabriela & Ekboir, Javier Mario & Sampedro, José Luis & Vera-Cruz, Alexandre O., 2011. "Do linkages between farmers and academic researchers influence researcher productivity? The Mexican case," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 932-942, September.
  9. Margherita Balconi & Roberto Fontana, 2011. "Entry and innovation: an analysis of the fabless semiconductor business," Small Business Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 87-106, July.
  10. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Hussinger, Katrin & Schneider, Cédric, 2009. "The nexus between science and industry: evidence from faculty inventions," ZEW Discussion Papers, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research 09-028, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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