The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 509–535 | Cite as

Academic patenting: the importance of industry support

  • Cornelia Lawson


This paper provides evidence that university-industry collaboration is important for turning commercial opportunities into patents. The results suggest that researchers who receive a large share of research grants from industry have a higher propensity to file a patent. Small dissemination grants generally exert a positive effect, whether they come from industry or not. It also finds that these interactions do not increase the number of industry owned patents alone but benefit universities’ commercialisation efforts in general.


Academic patenting University-industry collaboration Technology transfer Sponsored research 

JEL Classifications

O31 O34 I23 



The author would like to thank Albert Banal-Estanol, Mireia Jofre-Bonet, Alan Marco, Pierre Mohnen, Reinhilde Veugelers and participants of the DIME Final Conference (Maastricht), SEEK Kick-Off Conference (Mannheim), Zvi Griliches Seminar (Barcelona) and EARIE Conference (Stockholm) for their comments and suggestions. She would also like to thank Francesco Lissoni and Valerio Sterzi for sharing data from the EP-INV project. The data for this paper were collected as part of the ESRC research grant RES-000-22-2806. The paper further contributes to the research projects “Policy Incentives for the Creation of Knowledge: Methods and Evidence” (PICK-ME, Grant 266959) and “An Observatorium for Science in Society based in Social Models” (SISOB, Grant 266588), both funded by the European Union D.G. Research. Sponsorship through a Network of Excellence DIME Mobility Fellowship and a Short Visit Grant within the ESF Activity ‘Academic Patenting in Europe’ as well as support from Collegio Carlo Alberto and CIRCLE Lund University are also gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Collegio Carlo AlbertoBRICKMoncalieri, TurinItaly
  2. 2.Department of Economics S. Cognetti de MartiisUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsCity University LondonLondonUK

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