Why and how do scientists commercialize their research? Towards a typology of inventors
Incentives and assistance provided by TTOs, university policies, patent legislation and scientific disciplines are certainly part of the explanations for academic entrepreneurship. But they are only one facet of the story. Another facet is related to the scientists' motives, expectations and perceptions about the importance and necessity of such activities. There are no comprehensive studies to date that cover both internal and external factors. This is an important, complex and relatively under-researched theme. Our findings suggest that scientists are rarely engage in patenting activities for economic profit reasons or due to institutional and organizational support. Individual relations and networks with firms and other actors found to be important factors for scientists' entrepreneurial activities. Serial inventors act as role models to other scientists and crucial in the creation of an entrepreneurial milieu at the universities, as others would be affected by these behaviours and tend to follow them. However, the fact that university policies and TTOs have provided little incentives for scientists to get involved in entrepreneurship should not be considered to rule out institutional effects.
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