Academic Engagement and Commercialisation: A Review of the Literature on University–Industry Relations

Markus Perkmann, Valentina Tartari, Maureen McKelvey, Erkko Autio, Anders Broström, Pablo D’Este, Riccardo Fini, Aldo Geuna, Rosa Grimaldi, Alan Hughes, Stefan Kabel, Michael Kitson, Patrick Llerena, Ammon Salter, Maurizio Sobrero

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    A considerable body of work highlights the relevance of collaborative research, contract research, consulting and informal relationships for university–industry knowledge transfer. We present a systematic review of research on academic scientists’ involvement in these activities to which we refer as ‘academic engagement’. Apart from extracting findings that are generalisable across studies, we ask how academic engagement differs from commercialisation, defined as intellectual property creation and academic entrepreneurship. We identify the individual, organisational and institutional antecedents and consequences of academic engagement, and then compare these findings with the antecedents and consequences of commercialisation. Apart from being more widely practiced, academic engagement is distinct from commercialisation in that it is closely aligned with traditional academic research activities, and pursued by academics to access resources supporting their research agendas. We conclude by identifying future research needs, opportunities for methodological improvement and policy interventions.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalResearch Policy
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)423-442
    Number of pages20
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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