Principal Investigators and the Commercialization of Knowledge
The commercialization of scientific knowledge is playing an increasingly important role within the scientific community and especially for universities worldwide. Since policy makers expect an economic payoff from academic research and universities are faced with declining spending from the public sector, taking on technology transfer constitutes a new major objective of academia. As principal investigators (PIs) embody a key role within this process, scholars develop a growing interest in the unique skill and task set of these scientists. Therefore, this chapter highlights the process of commercialization of scientific knowledge as well as the role and concept of PIs by summarizing the existing strand of literature. Those researchers simultaneously act as project managers, negotiators as well as boundary spanners who bridge the gap between academia and industry. Getting a deeper understanding of the motives of PIs is crucial to provide an efficient infrastructure and facilitate the creation of research avenues fostering industrial innovation.
KeywordsPrincipal investigators Technology transfer Technology transfer offices
I would like to thank Hans Ulrich Buhl, PI at University of Augsburg, for his helpful comments and practical insights and Erik E. Lehmann for critical comments and discussions.
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