Institutional Change and the Resource Flows going to Spin off Projects: The case of IMEC
This study takes an institutional perspective on spinning off ventures as a venue for commercialising research. The central question dealt with is the following: are the resource endowments of spin-outs at time of founding influenced by the way in which the overall technology transfer process is organised at the parent organisation? We have selected a research institute known for its international research excellence and with a track record in spinning off ventures: IMEC (Leuven, Belgium). We questioned all senior managers involved in technology transfer and the founders of the academic ventures set up between 1987 – 2002. The basic argument of the research is that changes in the internal institutional environment -- and the spin out policy in particular -- co-evolve with a changing overall tendency in the amount of resources endowed to the academic ventures. More specifically, we identify three generations of academic ventures displaying the main organisational changes in technology transfer policies pertaining to spin off companies.
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