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Inside or outside the IP system? Business creation in academia


  • Fini, Riccardo
  • Lacetera, Nicola
  • Shane, Scott


Research and public policy on academic entrepreneurship are largely based on the assumption that faculty members start businesses to commercialize inventions that have been disclosed to university administrators and have been patented. In this paper, we analyze a sample of 11,572 professors and find that much academic entrepreneurship occurs outside the university intellectual property system. Specifically, about 2/3 of businesses started by academics are not based on disclosed and patented inventions. Moreover, we show that individual characteristics, departmental and organizational affiliations, and time allocation of academics that have started business outside the IP system are different from those of academics that have started businesses to exploit disclosed and patented inventions. We discuss the implications for research on and the practice of academic entrepreneurship.

Suggested Citation

  • Fini, Riccardo & Lacetera, Nicola & Shane, Scott, 2010. "Inside or outside the IP system? Business creation in academia," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1060-1069, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:39:y:2010:i:8:p:1060-1069

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeongsik Lee & Eric Stuen, 2016. "University reputation and technology commercialization: evidence from nanoscale science," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 586-609, June.
    2. Lawson, Cornelia, 2012. "Academic inventions outside the university: A result of industry sponsorship or entrepreneurial activities?," 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 201216, University of Turin.
    3. repec:kap:jtecht:v:43:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10961-015-9434-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Scott Shane & Sharon Dolmans & Joseph Jankowski & Isabelle Reymen & A. Romme, 2015. "Academic entrepreneurship: Which inventors do technology licensing officers prefer for spinoffs?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 273-292, April.
    5. Konstantinos Pitsakis & Vangelis Souitaris & Nicos Nicolaou, 2015. "The Peripheral Halo Effect: Do Academic Spinoffs Influence Universities' Research Income?," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 321-353, May.
    6. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9490-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Christopher Hayter, 2015. "Public or private entrepreneurship? Revisiting motivations and definitions of success among academic entrepreneurs," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(6), pages 1003-1015, December.
    8. Peter T. Gianiodis & Gideon D. Markman & Andreas Panagopoulos, 2016. "Entrepreneurial universities and overt opportunism," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 609-631, October.
    9. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9470-y is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Bijedić, Teita & Chlosta, Simone & Hossinger, Stefan & Kasdorf, Alina & Schneck, Stefan & Schröder, Christian & Werner, Arndt & Nielen, Sebastian & Oschmann, Sebastian, 2017. "Gründungserfolg von Wissenschaftlern an deutschen Hochschulen," IfM-Materialien 257, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    11. Hawkins, Richard & Langford, Cooper H. & Saunders, Chad, 2015. "Assessing the practical application of social knowledge: A survey of six leading Canadian Universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 83-95.
    12. Jacobsson, Staffan & Lindholm-Dahlstrand, Åsa & Elg, Lennart, 2013. "Is the commercialization of European academic R&D weak?—A critical assessment of a dominant belief and associated policy responses," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 874-885.
    13. Chang, Yuan-Chieh & Yang, Phil Yihsing & Martin, Ben R. & Chi, Hui-Ru & Tsai-Lin, Tung-Fei, 2016. "Entrepreneurial universities and research ambidexterity: A multilevel analysis," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 7-21.
    14. Fini, Riccardo & Grimaldi, Rosa & Santoni, Simone & Sobrero, Maurizio, 2011. "Complements or substitutes? The role of universities and local context in supporting the creation of academic spin-offs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1113-1127, October.
    15. Sauermann, Henry & Roach, Michael, 2013. "Increasing web survey response rates in innovation research: An experimental study of static and dynamic contact design features," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 273-286.
    16. Ani Gerbin & Mateja Drnovsek, 2016. "Determinants and public policy implications of academic-industry knowledge transfer in life sciences: a review and a conceptual framework," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(5), pages 979-1076, October.
    17. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9489-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. repec:wsi:ijitmx:v:14:y:2017:i:04:n:s0219877017500146 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Michele Meoli & Silvio Vismara, 2016. "University support and the creation of technology and non-technology academic spin-offs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 345-362, August.
    20. Riccardo Fini & Kun Fu & Marius Tuft Mathisen & Einar Rasmussen & Mike Wright, 2017. "Institutional determinants of university spin-off quantity and quality: a longitudinal, multilevel, cross-country study," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 361-391, February.
    21. Kenney, Martin & Patton, Donald, 2011. "Does inventor ownership encourage university research-derived entrepreneurship? A six university comparison," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1100-1112, October.
    22. Markus A. Kirchberger & Larissa Pohl, 2016. "Technology commercialization: a literature review of success factors and antecedents across different contexts," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(5), pages 1077-1112, October.
    23. Würmseher, Martin, 2017. "To each his own: Matching different entrepreneurial models to the academic scientist's individual needs," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1-17.
    24. Einar Rasmussen & Mike Wright, 2015. "How can universities facilitate academic spin-offs? An entrepreneurial competency perspective," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(5), pages 782-799, October.
    25. Abreu, Maria & Grinevich, Vadim, 2013. "The nature of academic entrepreneurship in the UK: Widening the focus on entrepreneurial activities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 408-422.


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