Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2010/2: From Basic Research to Innovation: Entrepreneurial Intermediaries for Research Commercialization at Swedish ‘Strong Research Environments’

Fumi Kitagawa () and Caroline Wigren ()
Additional contact information
Fumi Kitagawa: University of Bristol, Postal: Helen Wodehouse Building, 35 Berkeley Square, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1JA, UK
Caroline Wigren: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: PO Box 117, Sölvegatan 16, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden,

Abstract: The recent rise in university-industry partnerships has stimulated an important public policy debate degrading the theoretical rationale for government support for knowledge transfer/exchanges from higher education sector. This paper draws on a particular case study conducted at Lund University, which is the largest comprehensive research university in Sweden. We ask the role of fundamental research at the university and organizational responses to growing expectations with respect to its subsequent use and applications, particularly those of ‘Centres of research excellence’. We identify new forms of intermediary organizations as ‘brokers on the boundaries’ which bridge the gap between everyday scientific activities of researchers, entrepreneurial activities of academics, and more centralized forms of strategic initiatives taken by an ‘entrepreneurial university’ as an organizational actor. The paper concludes by identifying organizational strategic choices and constraints, and implications for rapidly changing higher education and research policies in Sweden and beyond.

Keywords: Academic Entrepreneurship; Sweden

JEL-codes: O30

28 pages, January 1, 2010

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