In this paper we study the interplay between formal and informal channels of university–industry knowledge transfer (UIKT) over time. To do so, we rely on longitudinal and qualitative interview data analysis allowing us to observe the notable research and valorization trajectories of two reputable researchers in the fields of robotics and pharmacy at the University of Strasbourg. Our findings show that: (1) dynamic complementarities between formal and informal UIKT are important; (2) at the individual and team level, such interactions contribute to creating a strong cumulative effect with regard to valorization activity; (3) They also reinforce the collective dimension of valorization, which is performed by teams rather than by isolated individuals; and (4) the best academic entrepreneurs make use of the different UIKT channels in an entrepreneurial way with a clear long-run valorization strategy in mind. These results have strong managerial and political implications with regard to the valorization of academic research.
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We acknowledge the anonymous reviewers for the quality of their report and their insightful comments which contribute to the improvement of the paper. We also acknowledge the support from the French ANR (National Agency for Research), which funded the Cocon project and the two professors of the University of Strasbourg who shared with us their entrepreneurial experience.
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Schaeffer, V., Öcalan-Özel, S. & Pénin, J. The complementarities between formal and informal channels of university–industry knowledge transfer: a longitudinal approach. J Technol Transf 45, 31–55 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-018-9674-4
- University research valorization
- Formal and informal technology transfer
- Academic entrepreneurship
- University industry linkages