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Co-Evolution of the University Technology Transfer: Towards a Sustainability-Oriented Industry: Evidence from Italy

Paola M. A. Paniccia () and Silvia Baiocco ()
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Paola M. A. Paniccia: Department of Management and Law, Tor Vergata University of Rome, 00133 Rome, Italy
Silvia Baiocco: Department of Management and Law, Tor Vergata University of Rome, 00133 Rome, Italy

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 12, 1-29

Abstract: Industry is continuously evolving, reflecting changes in society. An important aspect of this evolution concerns how new digital technologies are used and their effects on innovation and sustainability. Thus, the relationship between university, industry, and government grows stronger, shifting the focus on technology transfer processes from university to industry, at local and national levels. To increase our understanding of how these processes take place, more theoretical and empirical research is required. This paper aims to respond to this call by examining the university technology transfer through a co-evolutionary approach. The study analyses the dynamics of the relationships at different organisational levels within universities able to create sustainability-oriented innovative university spin-offs and start-ups, through the Italian National Innovation Award case. The findings show that the creation of these spin-offs and start-ups are the result of effective multi-level co-evolutionary adaptations within universities, and among university, industry and government. The article contributes to the further understanding of the management of technology transfer by combining some elements from the literature about the co-evolution of social organisations and their environment with some elements from the Triple Helix model of innovation. Moreover, both theoretical and managerial implications emerge, together with suggestions for future research.

Keywords: university technology transfer; co-evolution; spin-offs; start-ups; sustainability; case study (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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