Science is accepted as a part of the economic growth miracle of the Western world from late 18th century and onward. In Europe there is increased expenditure on strategic research and applied research, because policy-makers want science to become an even more important factor for economic growth.
However, the roadmap between science and innovation is still blurry. It seems as if it is not a linear process between discovery of a research finding, the creation of a technology and the market introduction of a product, service or process. Instead, innovation, technology and science interact. The actors, i.e. the scientist, the engineer, and the entrepreneur or the intrapreneur, are involved in random processes facilitated by social networks.
This study is based on an in-depth case study of the Swedish university research program m microelectronics called "Eproper". The research program consisted of three research groups that aimed at an engagement in knowledge and technology transfer activities. The purpose of this thesis is to describe and analyze critical issues for capitalizing on science from a university research program such as Eproper.
Some of the most important conclusions of this thesis are:
- The innovation processes commence when a research program is initiated; especially because of the creation of networks between different actors at university and industry are institutionalized at the start.
- The "academic loop" between science and technology comes natural to a university researcher; meanwhile the "commercial loop" between technology and innovation involves completely new sets of skills and assets in order to bridge between technology and innovation.
- Both university generated start-ups and licensing of new technology are important vehicles for commercialization; but the two vehicles are in need of different social networks and sets of skills which might be managed for.
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2007. , 125 p.