Maximising the potential of university spin-outs: the development of second-order commercialisation activities

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Abstract:

This paper examines the dynamics of university spin-out company development, based on an in-depth, longitudinal case study of some of the spin-out activities of one of the longest established technology transfer organisations in the UK. The different types of resource flows between this organisation and some of the companies in which it has a stake are discussed. Specifically, the paper considers the efficacy and appropriateness of the university technology transfer office (TTO) becoming involved in what we term second-order spin-out activities. These are spin-out companies that have been formed on technology developed in a spin-out company, or by people working in that spin-out, but which have no substantive connection with the research or personnel base of the university. We argue that in a peripheral non-technology intensive regional economy, the role of the TTO may be more wideranging than has been commonly assumed and may include a focus on regional economic development as well as the commercialisation of university-based research.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9310.2005.00388.x

Affiliations: 1: School of Management and Economics, Queen's University, Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland , Email: c.leitch@qub.ac.uk 2: Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, School of Management, University of Edinburgh, 7 Bristo Square, Edinburgh EH8 9AL, Scotland , Email: Richard.Harrison@ed.ac.uk

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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