In order to overcome the factors that limit the commercialization of embryonic research-based inventions (RBIs), a growing number of universities are resorting to Proof of Concept programs (PoCs). Although previous literature underlined the effectiveness of these programs in favouring the commercialization of RBIs, it is not yet clear what the mechanisms introduced by PoCs that enable this process are. In this paper, we seek to fill this gap with an in-depth case study regarding 12 PoC projects originating from an Italian technical university. Our results show that PoC programs create three classes of interconnected enablers (i.e., relational, structural and cultural) able to integrate inside-out and outside-in processes, and to mitigate the dichotomy between formal and informal technology transfer (TT) tools. Although only relational enablers promote the commercialization of RBIs directly, structural and cultural enablers contribute to the TT process by reducing the inhibiting effects on the commercialization of RBIs that organizational and intra-individual factors exert. Moreover, structural and cultural enablers apply a reinforcing effect on relational enablers, which facilitates the approach to industrial stakeholders by academics. We advance a new vision of the PoC as an integrated tool with a precise structure rather than a standalone instrument and we discuss implications on how universities could harmonize research and commercialization activities, shifting their TT approaches from transaction-driven to relation-focused.

The role of Proof-of-Concept programs in facilitating the commercialization of research-based inventions / Battaglia, Daniele; Paolucci, Emilio; Ughetto, Elisa. - In: RESEARCH POLICY. - ISSN 0048-7333. - ELETTRONICO. - 50:6(2021). [10.1016/j.respol.2021.104268]

The role of Proof-of-Concept programs in facilitating the commercialization of research-based inventions

Battaglia, Daniele;Paolucci, Emilio;Ughetto, Elisa
2021

Abstract

In order to overcome the factors that limit the commercialization of embryonic research-based inventions (RBIs), a growing number of universities are resorting to Proof of Concept programs (PoCs). Although previous literature underlined the effectiveness of these programs in favouring the commercialization of RBIs, it is not yet clear what the mechanisms introduced by PoCs that enable this process are. In this paper, we seek to fill this gap with an in-depth case study regarding 12 PoC projects originating from an Italian technical university. Our results show that PoC programs create three classes of interconnected enablers (i.e., relational, structural and cultural) able to integrate inside-out and outside-in processes, and to mitigate the dichotomy between formal and informal technology transfer (TT) tools. Although only relational enablers promote the commercialization of RBIs directly, structural and cultural enablers contribute to the TT process by reducing the inhibiting effects on the commercialization of RBIs that organizational and intra-individual factors exert. Moreover, structural and cultural enablers apply a reinforcing effect on relational enablers, which facilitates the approach to industrial stakeholders by academics. We advance a new vision of the PoC as an integrated tool with a precise structure rather than a standalone instrument and we discuss implications on how universities could harmonize research and commercialization activities, shifting their TT approaches from transaction-driven to relation-focused.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11583/2897232