Is university ownership a sub-optimal property rights regime for commercialisation? Information conditions and entrepreneurship in Greater Manchester, England
In an era where knowledge constitutes a key source of innovation and sustainable competitive advantage, universities are viewed increasingly as engines of growth. This is because they are places where research outcomes that may lead to radical or disruptive changes to practice are produced. Cognisant of this, and its implications for economic development, policy-makers conferred ownership of research outcomes to universities as a means of facilitating commercialisation. This paper, alongside a growing body of literature, questions the prevailing property rights regime, positing that it is sub-optimal in terms of reducing societal benefits coming from commercialisation. More specifically, drawing on the experience of Greater Manchester (England), this paper argues that university ownership implications on the availability of information used in commercialisation decisions. The detachment of entrepreneurs, a direct consequence of property rights, in the transition from disclosure to patenting means that it is not the transfer of technical information (as suggested in the literature) that constitutes the main challenge. Instead, this paper suggests it is ‘unknowledge’ i.e. information that has yet to be generated in the introduction of something new that impacts commercialisation. The paper suggests that, rather paradoxically, entrepreneurial engagement may be best attained.
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Citation : Kalantaidis, C. (2019) Is university ownership a sub-optimal property rights regime for commercialisation? Information conditions and entrepreneurship in Greater Manchester, England, UK. Journal of Technology Transfer, 44 (1), pp. 231-249
Research Institute : Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes