SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
Designing Efficient Institutions for Science-Based Entrepreneurship: Lessons from the US and Sweden
() and Nathan Rosenberg
Abstract: The recent ‘scientification’ of commercial technology has
brought the interface between universities and industry into sharp focus.
In particular, academic entrepreneurship, i.e., the variety of ways in
which academics take direct part in the commercialization of research, is
widely discussed. The purpose of this paper is to suggest a framework for
identifying the strategic individual decisions involved when educational
choice is translated into science-based entrepreneurship. Identifying these
decisions also allows us to hypothesize what incentive structures should be
crucial. Our suggested framework is informally tested by an in-depth
examination of the experiences of Sweden and the US. Despite large levels
of R&D spending and comprehensive government support schemes, science-based
entrepre-neurship has been far less important in Sweden compared to the US.
Our analysis points to weaknesses in the Swedish incentive structure in key
respects: the rate of return to human capital investment, incentives to
become an entrepreneur and to expand existing businesses, and insufficient
incentives within the university system to adjust curricula and research
budgets to outside demand. Several policy measures during the 1990s have
reduced the weaknesses in the Swedish incentive structure. The current
emergence of a more vibrant entrepreneurial culture in Sweden in some areas
is consistent with these changes. Our analysis suggests that a policy aimed
at encouraging science-based entrepreneurship should focus on strengthening
individual incentives for human capital investment and entrepreneurial
behavior both within universities and in business.
Keywords: Academic entrepreneurship; Innovation; R&D; Spin-off firms; Technology transfer; University-industry relations; Universities and business formation; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: J24; O31; O32; O57; (follow links to similar papers)
28 pages, November 6, 2000
Forthcoming in the Journal of Technology Transfer (April 2001)
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- This paper is published as:
Henrekson, Magnus and Nathan Rosenberg, (2001), 'Designing Efficient Institutions for Science-Based Entrepreneurship: Lessons from the US and Sweden', Journal of Technology Transfer, Vol. 26, June, No. 3, pages 207-231
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