Title: Markets for university inventions: the role of patents' underlying knowledge in university-to-industry technology commercialisation

Authors: Lorenzo Ardito

Addresses: Department of Mechanics, Mathematics and Management, Politecnico di Bari, Viale Japigia, 182 – 70126, Bari, Italy

Abstract: The present research examines how to improve the effectiveness of markets for university inventions from a demand side perspective. Specifically, it is examined whether and how the likelihood that university patents are purchased by companies is dependent upon the characteristics of patents' underlying knowledge. Two knowledge characteristics are analysed, i.e., knowledge breadth and knowledge maturity. Furthermore, the moderating effect of the level of scientific knowledge is further considered. On the basis of a sample of 1,222 university patents related to the biotechnology sector and registered at the US Patent and Trademark Office, this study outlines that knowledge breadth is curvilinearly related (inverted U-shaped) to the likelihood that academic patents are bought by firms, whereas knowledge maturity has a negative effect. Moreover, the level of scientific knowledge positively moderates the influence of knowledge breadth when it is at a low/moderate level, while it exerts a negative moderating effect when knowledge breadth is at a high level. Instead, the effect of knowledge maturity becomes stronger when university patents are based upon scientific knowledge.

Keywords: markets for technologies; markets for university inventions; university-industry relationship; entrepreneurial university; knowledge breadth; university-to-industry technology commercialisation; knowledge maturity; scientific knowledge; open innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2018.093934

International Journal of Technology Management, 2018 Vol.78 No.1/2, pp.9 - 27

Received: 14 Dec 2016
Accepted: 25 May 2017

Published online: 09 Aug 2018 *

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