Einar Rasmussen (Nord University Business School)
"The economic, social, and environmental impacts of science-based new firms"
at Department of Economics and Statistics S. Cognetti de Martiis, Seminar Room
The creation of university spin-off firms is seen as an important mechanism for generating economic and societal impacts from universities and for the transfer of university knowledge into application in society. The impacts of university spin-offs are often noted, but how these impacts are created is not clear. The academic entrepreneurship literature tends to examine issues related to the establishment and performance of the university spin-off firms, while studies examining the societal and regional impacts of universities rarely examine spin-offs in detail. Despite their increasing popularity, the importance and impact of science based firms is more difficult to grasp than often presented. This presentation discusses how university spin-offs may lead to impacts at several levels of analysis. It is very rare that university spin-offs by themselves grow into firms with significant economic impacts. Rather, the impacts of university spin-offs appears to be more subtle, by indirectly contributing to the development of businesses and society. Hence, instead of asking 'what is the impact of university spin-offs?', it is asked whether it would be more relevant to ask how spin-offs contribute to stakeholders such as their parent university, regional businesses and industry, as well as the society more generally. A research agenda for better understanding the role and impacts of university spin-offs will be discussed.