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Creating entrepreneurial universities in an emerging economy: Evidence from Brazil

Gustavo Dalmarco, Willem Hulsink and Guilherme V. Blois

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2018, vol. 135, issue C, 99-111

Abstract: The concept of the entrepreneurial university aims to promote the transfer of academic knowledge to companies and foster socio-economic development. The first wave occurred at pioneering universities in the United States like MIT and Stanford, defining a university-wide patent policy, establishing a technology transfer policy, setting up university-industry partnerships and churning out new companies. The second wave occurred in Western Europe, with ivory tower universities transforming themselves into entrepreneurial institutions supporting academic entrepreneurs. In terms of newly emerging economies making up the third wave, the promotion of academic entrepreneurship is high on their political agendas and, although the actual pioneering phase has already begun, it is not clear as yet which policies or structures are needed to foster the effective transfer of academic knowledge and the incubation of start-up firms, and eventually contribute to socio-economic development. In this sense, the aim of this study is to identify potential activities and effective policies to encourage the transfer of academic technology in Brazil, being one of the emerging economies. An analytical framework of the entrepreneurial university was constructed based on existing literature, consisting of five dimensions: entrepreneurial perspective, external links, access to university resources, innovation arrangement and scientific research. In an exploratory case study, eighteen interviews were carried out with incubatee-entrepreneurs and the managers of university business incubators in southern Brazil. Although all dimensions were mentioned in the interviews as being important in promoting entrepreneurship, the key finding from our research is that most academic start-ups are based on the entrepreneur's own technologies, rather than on the university's patents. The quality of entrepreneurial training, in addition to being in close contact with applied research, encourages academics to turn their business plans into start-up ventures. To conclude, although the new ventures are not based on academic patents, they are playing a proactive and dynamic role when it comes to socio-economic developments.

Keywords: Entrepreneurial university; Business incubator; Academic entrepreneurship; Technology transfer; Knowledge commercialization; Brazil (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L26 M13 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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