Title: University centred innovation system: the role of social capital in promoting university centred innovation in Japan

Authors: Francis X. Otieno; Masaki Kuroki

Addresses: Ritsumeikan University, 1-1-1 Noji-higashi, Kusatsu Shiga, 525-8577, Japan ' Ritsumeikan University, 1-1-1 Noji-higashi, Kusatsu Shiga, 525-8577, Japan

Abstract: In the current knowledge economy, the university has taken a central role in the innovation process, particularly in the creation of university spin-off companies (USOCs). In this regard, legal frameworks and policies were developed to create a university centred innovation system (UCIS) in order to transform Japanese universities into more entrepreneurial institutions. However, the rate of USOC formation has remained relatively low. Prior research has shown that inherent social capital have an impact on the creation and growth of USOCs, however, the Japanese university spin-offs exhibit a lack of inherent networking and trust relationships that enable the new firms to access and acquire resources needed in the spin-off process and a link to an initial customer base. This paper employs three case studies to illustrate how the gap between the new firm and the resource providers can be filled by dynamically creating social capital from a predefined pooled network in a UCIS, thereby activating links and building trust relationships that the new firm can leverage to access the required resources for its spin-off development.

Keywords: university spin-offs; innovation systems; social capital; network gap; trust gap; dynamic networks; Japan; university centred innovation; Japanese universities; entrepreneurial institutions; entrepreneurship.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBSR.2014.060301

International Journal of Business and Systems Research, 2014 Vol.8 No.2, pp.130 - 144

Received: 15 Feb 2013
Accepted: 01 May 2013

Published online: 07 Jun 2014 *

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