One of the greatest challenges facing European economies is the comparatively limited capacity to convert scientific breakthroughs and technological achievements into industrial and commercial successes. As a result, there is growing awareness of the proactive approach being undertaken by academic institutions, with many adopting a direct entrepreneurial role in collaborating with industry. This paper examines the activities of those academics involved with industry within two small European countries, namely Sweden and Ireland. In particular, it discusses and contrasts the extent to which academic entrepreneurship (i.e. all commercialisation activities outside of the normal university duties of basic research and teaching) has developed. It examines the influence of gender, age, previous entrepreneurial experience, work experience and university environment on the entrepreneurship activities of a sample of academics in both countries. The results demonstrate that there is considerable entrepreneurial experience among academics in both countries, and that this translates into a high degree of involvement in "soft" activities such as consultancy and contract research, but not into organizational creation via technology spin-offs.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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