What drives patenting and commerzialisation activity at East German universities? The role of new public policy, institutional environment and individual prior knowledge
New public policy enacted in Germany in 2002, intends to increase the number of patent registrations of academic entrepreneurs, and facilitate the commercialization and spillover of innovation generated at public universities. Results from a survey amongst university patentees in two new German Laender, Thuringia and Saxony, accomplished in 2009, are reported focusing on government policy, university support, and the role of technology transfer in an organizational and cultural context. Using a two-step cluster analysis, the survey data are used to profile the patentees and to investigate whether personal attributes and institutional environment contribute to academic entrepreneurship. Empirical findings show that advanced age and non-university working experience contribute significantly to entrepreneurial behavior. New public policy contributes to facilitate patent registrations, but professional expertise for the commercialization of knowledge as well as financial and organizational support schemes needs further improvement. This explains why patent registrations have slightly increased but also why universities report very low levels of commercialization through entrepreneurship. We offer policy recommendations to overcome the existent barriers, among them, the professionalization of technology transfer or targeted marketing for registered patents. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012
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