“But Peter’s in it for the money” – the liminality of entrepreneurial scientists
Entrepreneurial scientists who patent, start spin-off companies and commercialise in other ways are usually seen as occupying a dual role with one leg each in the academic world and another in the entrepreneurial world. This article instead argues that many entrepreneurial scientists should be considered liminal, i.e. at a boundary between these two worlds rather than inside both of them. In statements about research orientations, motivations for entering commercialisation, experiences, co-operation and more, many Norwegian entrepreneurial scientists create a certain distance to other faculty members and private entrepreneurs. The status of liminality or “in-between-ness” allows a flexible networking and commercialisation process. One the other hand, liminal entrepreneurial scientists seem to be locked out of many planning processes for initiatives like technology transfer offices in the wake of a recently changed legislation regarding ownership of research results in Norway.
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