Technology transfer and innovation: the case of public Universities in Milan, Italy
Most European countries are currently making determined efforts to invest in science and improve the prerequisites for research activities. Academic entrepreneurship has become an increasingly important channel through which universities contribute to the economic development of a country. In the last 10 years Italian university produced some 500 spin-offs In Italy, the spin-off phenomenon, born in the late 1980s, has entered the so-called fifth phase in which universities adopted evolved models focusing on university spin-offs and patents with a strategic approach. If blockbusters characterize the US model, the analysis of the Italian environment shows high birth and surviving rates and low growth rates. Confirming the traditional dichotomy between North and South in this phenomenon, Lombardy ranks second as innovating region in 2007 and the State University of Milan shows a good birth rate (4. 6%, NetVal 2007). This paper focuses on the State University of Milan and the Milan Area, as an interesting case study in order to understand the key factors underpinning the spin-off phenomenon. Expanding the triple helix model, the paper finds that a necessary development strategy had better to involve the financial system, especially venture capital companies and business angels to foster revenue growth.
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