Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Academic entrepreneurship: translating discoveries to the marketplace

Academic Entrepreneurship: Translating Discoveries to the Marketplace is the third title published in the Johns Hopkins University series on Entrepreneurship. Like the two earlier titles, this one is edited by Phillip H. Phan who unsurprisingly turns out to be not only the series editor but also the Alonzo and Virginia Decker Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Johns Hopkins University. The series is published by the increasingly imaginative and ambitious Anglo-American team at Edward Elgar Publishing, who have this to say about it in their web-blurb:
Academic entrepreneurship is a multifactorial and multidimensional phenomenon. This book presents research featuring aspects of academic entrepreneurship at the regional, institutional, and organizational levels of analysis. Phillip H. Phan and the authors illustrate that the more interesting aspects of this subject are in the ‘tails of the distribution,’ where counter-intuitive findings from the data call simple theories into question and inspire a vigorous discussion of alternatives.

This edited collection covers a variety of topics including, but not limited to
• corporate governance of innovation
• technology commercialization in pharmaceuticals and life sciences
• institutional impediments to technology development and economic growth
• economic impact of universities
• academic labor markets and technology commercialization
• translational research and development
• technology commercialization in regenerative medicine.
The contributors also consider the relative value of general versus specific human capital development and the implications for entrepreneurship and wealth creation.
As the publishers make clear, this is not a how-to-do-it book for academics who have managed to secure the IP rights and hope to launch their own businesses.  Rather, the intended readership is identified as "PhD students, new scholars in technology commercialization research, university technology transfer office personnel, economic development specialists and policymakers, and students studying the management of technology".   

While the thrust of the book is strongly US-flavoured (a significant element of its core is shaped by the College of Business Administration, University of Pittsburgh), its content is by no means parochial, with contributors from France, Italy, Scotland, South Korea and Spain.  While, as is still normally the case, there is no deep discussion of the use of IP data, record-keeping, due diligence or patent analytics -- these presumably falling beneath the radar as being of too practical for a theoretical appraisal of this nature -- there is some mention of technology transfer, international licensing, innovation, patents and R&D.  

Regular readers of this weblog will note the case study relating to the development and commercialisation of the Smart Kitchen.  This shows admirable attention to researching the scale and nature of potential customers, but it would have been good to know about how potential competitors or collaborators were spotted. 

You can get more information about this title, and order it as a hardback or e-book from the publisher's website here

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