ESRI Special Research Seminar "Scientist Entrepreneurship”
Venue: The ESRI, Whitaker Square, Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2
Time: 11 a.m.
Speaker: Professor David Audretsch, Distinguished Professor and the Ameritech Chair of Economic Development and Director of the Institute for Development Strategies at Indiana University; Director of the Max Planck Institute of Economics in Jena, Germany. Click for further information on Professor Audretsch.
This study examines the prevalence and determinants of the commercialisation of research by university scientists funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Because the two publicly available modes of scientist commercialisation – patents and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants – do not cover the full spectrum of commercialising 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. In particular, the empirical findings suggest that:
- Scientists receiving funding from the NCI exhibit a robust propensity to commercialise their research. While all modes of commercialisation are important, scientist entrepreneurship emerges as an important and prevalent mode of university research. More than one in four patenting NCI scientists has started a new firm.
- Two paths for commercialisation of scientist research are identified - the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) route and the entrepreneurial route. Scientists who select the TTO route by commercialising 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 commercialise their research, in that they do not assign patents to their university TTO, comprise 30 percent of patenting NCI scientists.
- The role of the TTO is found to be different depending upon the commercialisation mode. Having a TTO that is perceived to be helpful for commercialisation seems to increase the likelihood of a scientist licensing but decrease the propensity of a scientist to start a new firm. By contrast, having a TTO that is perceived not to be helpful reduces the licensing activity of scientists but increases their likelihood of becoming entrepreneurs. Thus, licensing and entrepreneurship appear to be substitutes when the TTO is helpful to the scientists and complements when not.
- Social capital enhances the propensity for scientists to commercialise their research. The impact of social capital is particularly high for the commercialisation mode of scientist entrepreneurship. The evidence indicates that social capital can serve as a mechanism to compensate for the lack of TTO help when starting a new firm. This would suggest that university governance and public policy facilitating participation in scientific networks may be a valuable investment accruing positive returns in terms of knowledge spillovers and technology transfer, ultimately leading to commercialisation, innovation and economic growth.
Organiser: Dr Iulia Siedschlag
For further information and to book a place please contact Dr Iulia Siedschlag on email@example.com; or on 00 353 1 863 2116.
Slides from seminar