The Bayh-Dole Act and scientist entrepreneurship
Much of the literature examining the impact of the Bayh-Dole Act has been based on the impact on patenting and licensing activities emanating from offices of technology transfer. Studies based on data generated by offices of technology transfer, suggest a paucity of entrepreneurial activity from university scientists in the form on new startups. There are, however, compelling reasons to suspect that the TTO generated data may not measure all, or even most of scientist entrepreneurship. Rather than relying on measures of scientist entrepreneurship reported by the TTO and compiled by AUTM, this study instead develops alternative measures based on the commercialization activities reported by scientists. In particular, the purpose of this paper is to provide a measure of scientist entrepreneurship and identify which factors are conducive to scientist entrepreneurship and which factors inhibit scientist entrepreneurship. This enables us to compare how scientist entrepreneurship differs from that which has been established in the literature for the more general population. We do this by developing a new database measuring the propensity of scientists funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to commercialize their research as well as the mode of commercialization. We then subject this new university scientist-based data set to empirical scrutiny to ascertain which factors influence both the propensity for scientists to become an entrepreneur. The results suggest that scientist entrepreneurship may be considerably more robust than has generally been indicated in studies based on TTO data.
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