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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/48900
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- An Australian model for spin-off companies in the commercialisation of university and other public sector research
- Yencken, John
- This thesis has reported one of the first Australian studies of the role of spin-off companies (as a sub-class of New Technology Small Firms) in the commercialisation of university and other public agency research outcomes. The literature and other initial research included a review of the definitions of innovation and entrepreneurship constructs, a survey of Australian universities to create a database of Australian research provider spin-offs and university attitudes to research commercialisation through spin-off companies, and review of the literature on the evolutionary theory of innovation, the economic contribution of small business and the relevance of entrepreneurship and its related constructs in technological innovation. The new research involved twenty case studies in Australia and two in Scotland of the genesis and early stage development (up to first external equity investment) of spin-offs from universities and other public research agencies. The focus has been on companies established mostly in the period FY1990-2000, where there had been ongoing intellectual property, usually equity and occasionally staff transfer relationships with the parent research provider. The companies were theoretically sampled to ensure a wide cover by technology and type of research provider. Data collection involved a comparative data survey instrument based on the Klofsten Business Platform and Cornerstones. For 17 of the cases, these responses were amplified by qualitative research interviews with scientist inventors, managers, technology transfer staff and first equity investors. The main research finding was that many of the spin-off companies from the universities were similar - in terms of needing holistic analysis strategies and of a non-linear development process - to other opportunity driven entrepreneurial new ventures. However there was also a group of spin-off ventures, including all the spin-offs from Cooperative Research Centres and CSIRO, which were carefully selected, planned and well resourced by their parent research provider before their incorporation. These companies resembled Bhide’s class of corporate spin-offs and matched the Degroof and Robersts Comprehensive Selectivity and Support archetype. This latter group generally showed a linear development process and the need for a more reductionist analytical approach. It was difficult to identify an entrepreneur as such for these companies. As a research discipline for this group, technology management and new product development constructs were probably more relevant than entrepreneurship constructs. An additional finding of importance for the development of research provider commercialisation policies and practices, was that in all except one of the cases studied the trigger that led to the identification of a commercial opportunity happened internally in the research provider organisation. In many of the cases, the trigger was based on prior knowledge of a problem looking for a solution.
- Publication type
- Thesis (PhD)
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship
- Publication year
- Australasian Digital Theses collection
- Copyright © 2005 John Yencken.