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Government Instruments To Support The Commercialization Of University Research: Lessons From Canada

E. Rasmussen
Published 2008 · Business

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Abstract Increased efforts are made in most industrialized countries to promote the commercialization of university research, for instance, through spin-off firm formation. Many studies have investigated the initiatives set up in the university sector that aim to support and facilitate the commercialization of research, such as technology transfer offices (TTO). However, few studies have looked at the increasing number of instruments introduced from the government. This paper reviews the Canadian support structure at federal level that aims to support the commercialization of publicly funded research. Two types of programs can be identified. Firstly, programs made to induce structural reforms within the university sector in order to improve the institutional capabilities to facilitate commercialization projects. Secondly, programs providing support to specific commercialization projects. This paper explores how these types of programs are operated at government level. An example of implementation at university level is also given. The lessons to be learned from the Canadian case are related to how the government initiatives encourage a bottom-up approach. This is accomplished by providing resources for direct use in commercialization projects or to develop professional expertise in technology transfer in the university sector, by experimenting with new initiatives, and finally by facilitating cooperation between commercializing organizations.
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