Determinants of Commercialization Modes of Science: Evidence from panel data of university technology transfer in Japan

Author Name FUKUGAWA Nobuya (Tohoku University)
Creation Date/NO. July 2023 23-E-053
Research Project Entrepreneurship in high-tech and high-growth start-ups
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Growth of knowledge-based economies hinges on the systematic application of science, which makes the efficient commercialization of university knowledge critical. Economic theory identifies determinants of the commercialization modes of science (license and entrepreneurship), such as search costs for licensees, post-license development costs, intellectual property ownership, commercialization skills of firms, and the efficiency of innovation intermediaries. Based on this theoretical framework, this study analyzes comprehensive university-level panel data (2018–2021) and presents the first evidence of the factor that most influences the commercialization modes of science. Estimation results reveal that universities that intensively engage in basic research create more university spinoffs. Basic research is conducive to radical innovation which tends to be commercialized by entrepreneurial firms that do not suffer from the replacement effect. Therefore, encouraging a broad range of universities to engage in basic research facilitates academic entrepreneurship, which should have positive implications on economic growth.