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Complements or Substitutes? The Role of Universities and Local Context in Supporting the Creation of Academic Spin-offs

15 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2010 Last revised: 1 May 2013

Riccardo Fini

University of Bologna - Department of Management; Imperial College London

Rosa Grimaldi

University of Bologna - Department of Management

Simone Santoni

University of Bologna - Department of Management

Maurizio Sobrero

University of Bologna - Department of Management

Date Written: December 2, 2010

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the extent to which University-Level Support Mechanisms (ULSMs) and Local-Context Support Mechanisms (LCSMs) complement or substitute for each other in fostering the creation of academic spin-offs. Using a sample of 404 companies spun off from the 64 Italian Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics universities (STEM universities) over the 2000-2007 period, we show that the ULSMs’ marginal effect on universities' spin-off productivity may be positive or negative depending on the contribution offered by different LCSMs. Specifically, in any given region, ULSMs complement the legislative support offered to high-tech entrepreneurship whereas they have a substitution effect with regard to the amount of regional social capital, regional financial development, the presence of a regional business incubator, regional public R&D expenses as well as the level of innovative performance in the region. Results support the idea that regional settings’ idiosyncrasies should be considered for universities to develop effective spin-off support policies. This paper contributes to the debate on the evaluation of economic policies supporting entrepreneurship.

Keywords: Academic entrepreneurship, Academic spin-offs, University-level support mechanisms, Local-context support mechanisms, Technology transfer

JEL Classification: M13, O3

Suggested Citation

Fini, Riccardo and Grimaldi, Rosa and Santoni, Simone and Sobrero, Maurizio, Complements or Substitutes? The Role of Universities and Local Context in Supporting the Creation of Academic Spin-offs (December 2, 2010). Research Policy, Vol. 40, pp. 1113–1127, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1719019

Riccardo Fini (Contact Author)

University of Bologna - Department of Management ( email )

Via Terracini 28
Bologna, 40131
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.unibo.it/faculty/riccardo.fini

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ, DC
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/people/r.fini

Rosa Grimaldi

University of Bologna - Department of Management ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
Bologna, Bologna 40126
Italy

Simone Santoni

University of Bologna - Department of Management ( email )

Via Umberto Terracini, 28
Bologna, Bologna 40131
Italy
(+39) 051 2090214 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/simsantoni/

Maurizio Sobrero

University of Bologna - Department of Management ( email )

Via Capo di Lucca 34
40126 Bologna, Bologna 40126
Italy
+39 051 2098076 (Phone)

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