Title: Creating a university technology commercialisation programme: confronting conflicts between learning, discovery and commercialisation goals

 

Author: Alan D. Meyer, Kathryn Aten, Alan J. Krause, Matthew L. Metzger, Samuel S. Holloway

 

Address: Charles H. Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1208, USA. ' Charles H. Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1208, USA. ' Charles H. Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1208, USA. ' Charles H. Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1208, USA. ' Dr. Robert B. Pamplin, Jr. School of Business Administration, University of Portland, Portland, Oregon 97203-5798 USA

 

Journal: Int. J. of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2011 Vol.13, No.2, pp.179 - 198

 

Abstract: Our knowledge-based society is pressing universities to transform from monastic scholarly enclaves into producers of new technologies and incubators of start-up firms. However, converting scientists' curiosity-driven discoveries into commercially viable innovations has proven so difficult that observers liken the journey to crossing a 'Valley of Death'. We conceptualise the challenges of commercialising university inventions in terms of three gaps: the technology discovery gap, the commercialisation gap, and the venture launch gap. We chronicle the inception and evolution of a technology commercialisation programme at the University of Oregon, relating how the university confronted and dealt with the three gaps, and describing the intra-organisational partnerships developed to address them. We find that negotiating the gaps requires assimilation of a technology commercialisation mission into the traditional academic missions of education and scientific discovery. To do this, universities must confront fundamental contradictions between learning, discovery, and commercialisation.

 

Keywords: university commercialisation; technology transfer; multidisciplinary education; university spinouts; regional economic development; university research; universities; technology discovery; venture launch; new ventures; learning; academic mission; higher education.

 

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2011.038858

10.1504/11.38858

 

 

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