Universities are in the focus of discussion about innovation-based economic growth in Germany, in the United States, and in other countries of the world. Historically, the university’s role in society comprised the functions of higher education and research, following Humboldt’s 19th century ideal of combining learning and research in one single institution. More recently, universities have transformed their role and extended their mission to incorporate a more commercially oriented element, based on the successes of technology transfer at universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) and Stanford University. Etzkowitz describes this transformation as the “second academic revolution”, which requires universities to act more entrepreneurially and commercially, and serve society not only by educating students, but also by fostering research which can be developed into marketable products and technologies, thereby advancing the public good and economic wealth.


Technology Transfer Entrepreneurial Orientation Entrepreneurial Firm Academic Entrepreneurship Patent Filing 
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  1. 1.
    National education and science ministries, government departments, and agencies in almost all industrialized countries debate this issue. As examples for Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, see BMBF (2004b) p. II, HMT (2004) p. I, NSB (2004b) p. 1, respectively. The academic basis for this debate can be found with Arrow (1962), Dasgupta and David (1994), and Rosenberg and Nelson (1994).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Etzkowitz (2002), pp. 10–11. Etzkowitz classifies the combination of education and science as “first academic revolution”, extending the function of medieval teaching institutions in Paris and Bologna, adding the innovative research component. Etzkowitz views the 19th century universities of Göttingen and Gießen in Germany as role models of Humboldt’s idea.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See BankBoston (1997), p. 2. In the study “MIT: The Impact of Innovation” prepared by its Economics Department, BankBoston presents the results of a major study on the national economic impact of companies founded by MIT alumni. Among other findings, the study reveals that MIT graduates have founded 4,000 companies, creating 1.1 million jobs worldwide and generating annual sales of $232 billion. It was the first study demonstrating the key role that higher education and research play in the economic vitality of the U.S. See also Etzkowitz (2002), p. 20, and p. 102.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See Etzkowitz (2002), p. 12, and Etzkowitz and Webster (1998), p.1. Also, see Gray (1999), p.1, as it relates to the development in the United Kingdom.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See Saxenian (1994), p. 7, Roberts and Malone (1996), p. 17, Mansfield and Lee (1996), p. 1047, and Varga (1998), p. 1.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See BMBF (2004b), p. II.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    See NSB (2004a), p. 54, for an international comparison of industry sponsored funding over time.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    See BMBF (2004a), pp. 1–3. Bund and Länder agreed upon initiating competitive procedures in order to enhance performance and increase quality of universities in Germany.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    See Saxenian (1994), p. 7, and Roberts and Malone (1996), p. 17.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    See Shane (2004), p. 127, Mowery and Ziedonis (2002), p. 399, and Mowery, Nelson, Pampat and Ziedonis (2001), p. 99.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    See AUTM (2003), pp. 10–11.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    See Rogers, Takegami and Yin (2001), p. 259.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    See AUTM (2003), p. 21.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    See AUTM (2003), p. 22.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    The University of California System reports number for all University of California campuses on a consolidated basis only. Based on anecdotal evidence, it is estimated that the campuses of Berkeley and San Diego are the most active in new spin-off generation, given their relative size and focus on the most relevant research fields such as computer science, biomedical science, and engineering.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    See Gray (1999), p. 1, BMBF (2004b), p. III.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    See Arrow (1962) and Jaffe (1989) for the foundations of this research stream. Arrow, in particular, elaborated at an early stage on the issue of resource allocation for research and the impact on the econ-omy.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    See Clarysse and Moray (2004), Powers and McDougall (2004), and Shane (2004) for most recent findings.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    A research unit is defined as a group of researchers, headed by a principal investigator, conducting jointly research in a specific research field, such as research laboratory or a research center.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    See the contributions of Powers and McDougall (2004), Powers (2000), Wayne (2003), Clarysse and Moray (2004), Jensen and Thursby (2001), Di Gregorio and Shane (2003), and Bornemann and Mauer (2004).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    The theory of entrepreneurial orientation is primarily based on the work of Lumpkin and Dess (1996).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Specificities of entrepreneurial orientation can be organizational characteristics such as autonomy, competitiveness, or risk taking. See Lumpkin and Dess (1996), pp. 138–151.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Murray (2004), p. 691.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    See BMBF (2001), p. 2.Google Scholar

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