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The Knowledge Filter and Economic Growth: The Role of Scientist Entrepreneurship

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  • David B. Audretsch

    ()

  • Taylor Aldridge

    ()

  • Alexander Oettl

Abstract

This paper examines the prevalence and determinants of the commercialization of research by university scientists funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Because the two publicly available modes of scientist commercialization – patents and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants – do not cover the full spectrum of commercializing activities undertaken by university scientists, the study also includes two additional measures obtained from detailed scientist interviews: licensing of intellectual property and starting a new firm. These measures are used to assess both the prevalence and determinants of scientist commercialization of research. In particular, the empirical findings suggest seven important insights: 1) Scientists receiving funding from the National Cancer Institute exhibit a robust propensity to commercialize their research. However, the prevalence of commercialization depends highly upon the actual mode of commercialization. Some modes of commercialization, such as patents, are more prevalent, while other modes, such as funding by the SBIR program are rarely used. 2) Scientist entrepreneurship is the sleeping giant of commercializing university research. More than one in four patenting NCI scientists have started a new firm. 3) Two paths for commercialization of scientist research are identified - the TTO route and the entrepreneurial route. Scientists who select the TTO route by commercializing their research through assigning all patents to their university TTO account for 70 percent of NCI patenting scientists. Scientists who choose the entrepreneurial route to commercialize their research, in that they do not assign patents to their university TTO, comprise 30 percent of patenting NCI scientists. 4) Social capital enhances the propensity for scientists to commercialize their research. The impact of social capital is particularly high for the commercialization mode of scientist entrepreneurship. 5) Technology Transfer Offices are found to be helpful for the mode of commercialization involving licenses. There is less evidence suggesting that they promote scientist entrepreneurship.6) For scientists who perceive that they are helped by their Technology Transfer Office, licensing is not only the most prevalent mode of commercialization, but it also is a substitute for entrepreneurship. For scientists who perceive that they are not helped by their Technology Transfer Office, entrepreneurship emergences as a much more important mode of commercialization and is complementary to licensing. 7) Scientists choosing the entrepreneurial route to commercialize their research, by not assigning patents to their university to commercialize research, tend to rely on the commercialization mode of entrepreneurship. By contrast, scientists who select the TTO route by assigning their patents to the university tend to rely on the commercialization mode of licensing.

Suggested Citation

  • David B. Audretsch & Taylor Aldridge & Alexander Oettl, 2006. "The Knowledge Filter and Economic Growth: The Role of Scientist Entrepreneurship," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2006-11, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:egpdis:2006-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. "Contacts, contacts, contacts"
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2008-01-29 18:44:52

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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. Gutierrez, Juan Julio & Correa, Paulo, 2012. "Commercialization of publicly funded research and development (R&D) in Russia : scaling up the emergence of spinoff companies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6263, The World Bank.
    3. Diana Boehm & Teresa Hogan, 2014. "‘A jack of all trades’: the role of PIs in the establishment and management of collaborative networks in scientific knowledge commercialisation," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 134-149, February.
    4. Westerberg, Hans Seerar, 2014. "The Return to R&D and Seller-buyer Interactions: A Quantile Regression Approach," Ratio Working Papers 231, The Ratio Institute.
    5. Thursby, Jerry & Fuller, Anne W. & Thursby, Marie, 2009. "US faculty patenting: Inside and outside the university," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 14-25, February.
    6. Suriñach, Jordi & Moreno, Rosina, 2011. "The role of intangible assets in the regional economic growth," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 20, pages 165-193.
    7. Thurik, A.R., 2008. "Entrepreneurship, Economic Growth and Policy in Emerging Economies," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2008-060-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    8. 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.
    9. Hugo Erken & Piet Donselaar & Roy Thurik, 0000. "Total Factor Productivity and the Role of Entrepreneurship," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-034/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    10. Kenney, Martin & Patton, Donald, 2009. "Reconsidering the Bayh-Dole Act and the Current University Invention Ownership Model," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1407-1422, November.
    11. Anna Nilsson & Annika Rickne & Lars Bengtsson, 2010. "Transfer of academic research: uncovering the grey zone," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 35(6), pages 617-636, December.
    12. Guerzoni, Marco & Taylor Aldridge, T. & Audretsch, David B. & Desai, Sameeksha, 2014. "A new industry creation and originality: Insight from the funding sources of university patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(10), pages 1697-1706.
    13. Niranjan Chipalkatti & Jonathan P. Doh & Meenakshi Rishi, 2011. "Institutional quality, knowledge spillovers and entrepreneurship," International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(4), pages 307-329.
    14. Albert N. Link & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2013. "Bringing science to market:commercializing from NIH SBIR awards," Chapters,in: Public Support of Innovation in Entrepreneurial Firms, chapter 1, pages 3-24 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. Pekka Stenholm & Zoltán J. Ács & Robert Wuebker, 2015. "Exploring country-level institutional arrangements on the rate and type of entrepreneurial activity," Chapters,in: Global Entrepreneurship, Institutions and Incentives, chapter 20, pages 387-404 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. Edward Bergman, 2011. "Marshall's Dilemma: Intangible Assets and European Universities," ERSA conference papers ersa10p363, European Regional Science Association.
    17. Camilla Jensen & Itzhak Goldberg, 2014. "Demand-driven innovation policies in the EU," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0467, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    18. Soumodip Sarkar, 2017. "Uncorking knowledge- purposeful spillovers as a strategic tool for capability enhancement in the cork industry," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 251-275, March.
    19. Viktoria Kocsis & Victoria Shestalova & Henry van der Wiel & Nick Zubanov & Ruslan Lukach & Bert Minne, 2009. "Relation entry, exit and productivity: an overview of recent theoretical and empirical literature," CPB Document 180, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    20. Krabel, Stefan & Mueller, Pamela, 2009. "What drives scientists to start their own company?: An empirical investigation of Max Planck Society scientists," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 947-956, July.
    21. Guerzoni, Marco & Aldridge, Taylor & Audretsch, David B & Sameeksha, Desai, 2012. "University Knowledge, Originality of Patents and the Creation of New Industries," 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 201219, University of Turin.
    22. Navid Bazzazian & Thomas Astebro, 2011. "Universities, Entrepreneurship and Local Economic Development," ERSA conference papers ersa10p822, European Regional Science Association.
    23. André van Stel & Roy Thurik & Ingrid Verheul & Lendert Baljeu, 2007. "The Relationship between Entrepreneurship and Unemployment in Japan," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-080/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 14 Jul 2008.
    24. Azagra-Caro,Joaquín M. & Barberá-Tomás,David & Edwards-Schachter,Mónica, 2015. "The impact of one of the most highly cited university patents: formalisation and localization," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201502, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), revised 03 Jan 2017.

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