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Establishment and Development of Academic Spin Off Firms by Evidence from Turkey and Some Policy Recommendations

Yelda Erden () and Alp Eren Yurtseven ()
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Yelda Erden: TEKPOL, Science and Technology Policy Studies, Middle East Technical University
Alp Eren Yurtseven: TEKPOL, Science and Technology Policy Studies, Middle East Technical University

No 1204, STPS Working Papers from STPS - Science and Technology Policy Studies Center, Middle East Technical University

Abstract: This study aims to identify the main characteristics of academic spin off firms, which evolve from universities through commercialization of intellectual property and transfer of technology developed within academic institutions. Academic spin off firms can be conceptualized as a subset of new technology-based firms and they emerge as important actors of the innovation system in Turkey. Despite the extensive empirical evidence pointing to the conclusion that most new technology-based firms do not grow and more importantly do not even want to grow, the dominating view of new technology-based firms is presuming rapid growth, or at least an aspiration towards it. In addition to problems associated with the liability of newness, academic spin off firms also face two fundamentally different difficulties: Academic spin off firms evolve from non commercial environments, i.e. universities and research laboratories, and have to overcome substantial obstacles on the way to become a profitable organization. Moreover key stakeholders in the founding process (i.e. the academic entrepreneurs, university management, finance suppliers etc.) may have conflicting interests, which may influence the growth pattern of academic spin off firms. Solution of these problems call for a redefinition of parent organization’s structure and mission statement. Recently emerging third mission paradigm puts forward entrepreneurialism as a new pillar in addition to teaching and research. This study attempts to highlight key characteristics of ASOF’s and obtained results are expected to contribute to the intellectual debate about transformation of universities with an entrepreneurial mind set. Obtained results indicate that founders of academic spin off firms have precedent joint research experience, i.e. network of researchers and role of research group as a quasi- firm is influential in the founding process of academic spin off firms. Moreover academic spin off firms are embedded in networks, rather than being atomistic entities and either structure of these networks change, or academic spin off firms partake in different networks during their development.

Keywords: Academic spin-off; new technology-based firm; entrepreneurial university (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-ent, nep-ino and nep-sbm
Date: 2012-05, Revised 2012-05
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Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:met:stpswp:1204

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