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University Patenting and Scientific Productivity : A Quantitative Study of Italian Academic Inventors
Article mis en ligne le 5 décembre 2013

par F.O
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University Patenting and Scientific Productivity : A Quantitative Study of Italian Academic Inventors

Centro di Ricerca sui Processi di Innovazione e Internazionalizzazione, Università̀ Commerciale “Luigi Bocconi” , Milan

Source : ftp://ftp.unibocconi.it/pub/RePEc/cri/papersWP189BreschiLissoniMontobbio.pdf

CRESPI

The increasing involvement of US universities in patenting and commercialization of research results is a well documented phenomenon (Mowery et al., 2004), but recent studies have uncovered unexpected rates of university patenting also in Europe. In particular, new measurement efforts have highlighted the existence of growing number of university-invented and university- owned patents1 in Italy, France, Sweden, Finland, and Germany (Balconi et al., 2004 ; Lissoni et al., 2006 ; Meyer et al., 2003 ; Schmiemann and Durvy, 2003). Case studies and survey research have suggested that a similar pattern is likely to be found also in Spain, Belgium and the UK (Azagra- Caro et al., 2003 ; Saragossi and van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2003 ; Crespi et al., 2006).

This evidence raises a number of questions on the costs and benefits of academic patenting, both for the advancement of science and for society at large (Bok, 2003 ; Slaughter and Rhoades, 2004). Once the preserve of the US debate, these questions have now to be addressed also in Europe. In this paper, we exploit our own previous research on Italy to investigate individual scientists’ motivations and returns to patenting : What role does patenting play in the Italian academic scientists’ careers ? Is it a useful complementary activity or a distraction from more fundamental research pursuits ?



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