KEY CHALLENGES IN ESTABLISHING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL CULTURE IN AN ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT: A CASE STUDY
There is a general perception that academic entrepreneurship (AE) refers mainly to the creation of commercializable output from a university's intellectual property by creating new ventures, also called spin-offs. We question this perspective as too limited, and propose that the university as a whole serves as a catalyst to the output; therefore, a holistic culture has to be created to involve and motivate all stakeholders, particularly students, to create innovations. Thus, academic entrepreneurship is conceived to span across research and education. We discuss how we have implemented basic principles of AE at a small university with limited resources and modest research expenditures. Our lesson learned is that it is not possible to implement AE successfully if it operates outside of the academic structure. Furthermore, institutionalization of AE through proper policies and processes built into the university's governance structure is the fastest and most efficient way to effect cultural change and gain acceptance of AE by all stakeholders.
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