Commercializing Promising but Dormant Japanese Industry–University Joint Discoveries via Independent, Venture Capital Funded Spin-Offs

  • Robert KnellerEmail author


This chapter outlines a way to foster science-based entrepreneurship and to develop some of the promising discoveries made jointly by Japanese universities and corporate researchers. The core proposal is to encourage the formation of independent, venture-capital-backed spin-offs based upon technologies jointly discovered by universities and companies that are lying dormant, but that have significant commercial potential. This chapter outlines the rationale for this proposal and a process for doing so. It discusses one spin-off that appears to be successful so far—TeraView—spun off from Toshiba Research Europe and the Cavendish Laboratory of the University of Cambridge, as well as barriers to replicating this promising example. Ultimately, the success of this endeavor will depend upon established Japanese companies and university researchers both realizing that they stand to benefit. Success also depends upon altering longstanding practices in some industries related to intellectual property (IP) management, particularly the cross-sharing of IP rights and the reluctance to exclusively out-license technologies.


Intellectual Property United States Patent Venture Capital Investor Established Company Overseas Investor 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST)The University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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