Getting out of the Ivory Tower - New Perspectives on the Entrepreneurial University
Discussion Papers on Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2/2007,
Based on theoretical considerations about the “third mission” of universities and the discussion of the nature of different university-industry relations, we conclude that the entrepreneurial university is a manifold institution with direct ways to transfer technology from academia to industry as well as indirect connections to industry via entrepreneurship education and training. While existing literature usually deals with one or another linking mechanism separately, our central hypothesises is that direct and indirect mechanisms should be interrelated and mutually complementary. We emphasize the importance of a more holistic view and empirically investigate the scope and interrelatedness of entrepreneurship education and direct technology transfer mechanisms at German universities. We find a variety of activities in both fields and evidence for an identification of HEI with the mission of knowledge commercialisation. Furthermore, it shows that the HEIs’ technology transfer facilities and the entrepreneurship education providers co-operate in support of the creation of spin-offs and innovative start-ups.
Ten years of entrepreneurship education in Germany: a positive interim result
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Innovative business start-ups are an essential component and an expression of dynamic economic development. Nevertheless, start-ups do not emerge in a vacuum but require an appropriate institutional framework. Therefore, the topic of entrepreneurial education attracts gradually more interest of German universities since the 1990s. In 1997, the first professorship for this subject was announced and the number of respective chairs is rising ever since. The present article draws a balance by asking: To what extend and with which contents entrepreneurship education is currently offered at colleges and universities? What are the contents of teaching and what teaching manuals are dominant? To what extend are universities endowed with an infrastructure for commercializing knowledge complementary to their education? Are professorships and technology transfer centers of universities cooperatively aligned? These and further questions about the entrepreneurial education as part of academic technology transfer will be addressed in this article. Overall, a positive development regarding the range of teaching as well as the embedding in the overarching theme of technology transfer is recognizable. However, further efforts appear to be required, so that the in principle positive assessments can only form a first interim balance on the way towards “More enterprise start-ups out of university”.