Why do Academics Engage with Industry? The Entrepreneurial University and Individual Motivations

39 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2010 Last revised: 1 May 2013

See all articles by Pablo d'Este

Pablo d'Este

Cranfield School of Management

Markus Perkmann

Imperial College Business School

Date Written: February 2, 2010

Abstract

The debate on the entrepreneurial university has raised questions about what motivates academic scientists to engage with industry. This paper provides evidence based on survey data for a large sample of UK investigators in the physical and engineering sciences. The results suggest that most academics engage with industry to further their research rather than to commercialize their knowledge. However, there are differences in terms of the channels of engagement. Patenting and spin-off company formation are motivated exclusively by commercialization whilst joint research, contract research and consulting are strongly informed by research-related motives. We conclude that policy should refrain from overly focusing on monetary incentives for industry engagement and consider a broader range of incentives for promoting interaction between academia and industry.

Keywords: University-industry relations, joint research, collaborative research, commercialization, entrepreneurial university, motivation

JEL Classification: I23, O32

Suggested Citation

d'Este, Pablo and Perkmann, Markus, Why do Academics Engage with Industry? The Entrepreneurial University and Individual Motivations (February 2, 2010). Journal of Technology Transfer 36(3) :316-339 (2011). , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1546561

Pablo D'Este

Cranfield School of Management ( email )

United Kingdom

Markus Perkmann (Contact Author)

Imperial College Business School ( email )

London, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

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