Getting out of the ivory tower – New perspectives on the entrepreneurial university

Based on theoretical considerations about the ‘third mission’ of universities and the discussion of different types of university-industry relations, we conclude that the entrepreneurial university is a manifold institution with direct mechanisms to support the transfer of technology from academia to industry as well as indirect mechanisms in support of new business activities via entrepreneurship education. While existing literature usually deals with one or another linking mechanism separately, our central hypothesis is that direct and indirect mechanisms should be interrelated and mutually complementary. We emphasise the importance of a more holistic view of the entrepreneurial university and empirically investigate the scope and interrelatedness of direct technology transfer mechanisms and indirect mechanisms, such as entrepreneurship education at German universities. We find a variety of activities in both fields and most universities’ technology transfer facilities and the providers of entrepreneurship education co-operate in support of innovative start-ups.

11. November 2008

Authors Jutta Günther Kerstin Wagner

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