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Entrepreneurship and Knowledge Transfer in the Academic Context

Research track

Track co-chairs: Simone Chlosta & Teita Bijedic, IfM Bonn, germany

Description of the track

Generating inventions and/or founding businesses are important activities for the economic growth and structural change, particularly in knowledge-driven societies. Especially the research output of academic staff in institutions of higher education is a great source of innovations and commercially utilizable knowledge. Therefore these institutions make great efforts to establish and incorporate services and infrastructure to facilitate the commercial exploitation of inventions, e.g. by incentivizing academic entrepreneurship. These efforts predominantly target disciplines like Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM-fields), since the research output within these fields is usually associated with patentable and marketable inventions (cf. Czarnitzki et al. 2013). However, knowledge of great commercial potential still seems to remain unexploited (Wevand and Haase 2007) and entrepreneurial processes to be discontinued.

There seems to be a gap between individuals showing entrepreneurial intentions and those actually proceeding to the start-up process up to finally founding a business: almost one out of three individuals with high entrepreneurial intentions give up on their venture plans one year later (Kay and Werner 2006, Werner 2011). Thus, in order to enhance the effectiveness of incentives and support systems for commercial exploitation of research results and entrepreneurial activities of researchers, it is important to understand the specific factors influencing the decisions of academic staff to pursue entrepreneurship at each stage of the venture creating process.

In order to close the described research gap, we are looking for studies that examine institutional, human capital related and individual antecedents of entrepreneurial intentions and activities. Furthermore, we encourage researchers to submit empirical studies using a variety of samples in academia (e.g. researchers, academic staff in universities).

Key topics and research questions of the track
  • Academia-specific influences on the entire entrepreneurial process, as well as on distinct entrepreneurial phases
  • Gender and diversity effects on the innovation and entrepreneurial activity within the academic context
  • Impact of educational and vocational history on entrepreneurial and innovation activities
  • Barriers and drivers of entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer within the academic context
  • Influences of different level variables on academic entrepreneurship: individual, interpersonal, institutional and societal level

We encourage contributions to address one or more of the listed topics, using qualitative or quantitative analyses, developing theoretical frameworks that extend and develop our understanding of academic entrepreneurship and will also deliver practical and policy implications. The track is also open to research addressing other but related topics. We welcome contributions from different scientific backgrounds: economics, psychology, sociology, etc.

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