, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 447-460

First online:

University Researchers Contributing to Technology Markets 1900–85. A Long-Term Analysis of Academic Patenting in Finland

  • Sampsa KaatajaAffiliated withSchool of Engineering, Aalto UniversitySchool of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tampere Email author 

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Regardless of the increased interest in technological innovation in universities, relatively little is known about the technology developed by academic scientists. Long-term analyses of researchers’ technological contribution are notably missing. This paper examines university-based technology in Finland during the period 1900–85. The focus is on the quantity and technological specialization of applications created inside the universities and in the changes that occurred in scientists’ technological output over nine decades. In the long-term analysis several aspects in universities’ technological contribution, which are typically considered a recent phenomenon, turn out to have long historical roots. Thus the empirical evidence provided in the article challenges views emphasising that the world of science has faced a drastic change in recent decades.


Academic patenting Long-term analysis Commercialisation of university research University-industry linkage