7 The Impact of a Start Up’s Key Business Relationships on the Commercialization of Science: The Case of Nautes

  • Enrico Baraldi
  • Andrea Perna
  • Fabio Fraticelli
  • Gian Luca Gregori


The purpose of this chapter is to shed light on how start-ups deal with the complex task of commercializing science. While the linear “spin-out funnel” model (Clarysse, Wright, Lockett, Van de Velde, & Vohora, 2005) views commercialization simply as a bridge between technology and the market, the process of connecting science to industrial or societal needs is more complex and transforms the original science into something else (Pavitt, 2004; Grandin, Wormbs, & Widmalm, 2004) rather than simply transferring it over a bridge. This “something else” is often “downgraded” because the most cutting-edge discoveries are too advanced and clash with established investments and the other technologies already in place (Håkansson & Waluszewski, 2007, pp. 6–10). Therefore, most scientific knowledge is used in the business world, after it has already been embedded in a complex socio-technical network through several connections created with surrounding technologies, actors and organizations (Håkansson & Waluszewski, 2007, pp. 6–7). Following this approach towards the commercialization of science and the adoption of a network perspective (Håkansson & Snehota, 1995) means “the real challenge in commercializing science is making it fit in the established socio-technical structures of producers and users” (Håkansson & Waluszewski, 2007, p. 10).


Customer Relationship Business Network Business Relationship Business Venture Network Perspective 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Aaboen, L., Dubois, A., & Lind, F. (2011). Start-ups starting up—Firms looking for a network. The IMP Journal, 5(1), 42–58.Google Scholar
  2. Ahmad, A. J., & Ingle, S. (2011). Relationships matter: Case study of a university campus incubator. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 17(6), 626–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Akrich, M., Callon, M., & Latour, B. (2002). The key to success in innovation PART II: The art of choosing good spokespersons. International Journal of Innovation Management, 6(2), 207–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aldrich, H. (1999). Organizations evolving. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  5. Alvesson, M., & Sköldberg, K. (2009). Reflexive methodology: New vistas for qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  6. Baraldi, E., Gressetvold, E., & Harrison, D. (2012). Resource interaction in inter-organizational networks: Foundations, comparison, and a research agenda. Journal of Business Research, 65(2), 266–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Baraldi, E., & Launberg, A., 2013, The commercialisation of science as an embedding process: The case of PET radiotracers at Uppsala University. Paper presented at the 29th IMP Conference, Atlanta.Google Scholar
  8. Bergek, A., & Norrman, C. (2008). Incubator best practice: A framework. Technovation, 28, 20–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ciabuschi, F., Perna, A., & Snehota, I. (2012). Assembling resources in the formation of a new business. Journal of Business Research, 65(2), 220–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Clarysse, B., Wright, M., Lockett, A., Van de Velde, E., & Vohora, A. (2005). Spinning out new ventures: A typology of incubation strategies from European research institutions. Journal of Business Venturing, 20, 183–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dubois, A., & Gadde, L.-E. (2002). Systematic combining: An abductive approach to case research. Journal of Business Research, 55, 553–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ford, D., Gadde, L.-E., Håkansson, H., & Snehota, I. (2003). Managing business relationships (1st ed.). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  13. Ford, D., Gadde, L.-E., Håkansson, H., & Snehota, I. (2006). The business marketing course. Managing in complex networks (2nd ed.). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  14. Ford, D., Gadde, L.-E., Håkansson, H., & Snehota, I. (2011). Managing business relationships (3rd ed.). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  15. Gadde, L. E., Hjelmgren, D., & Skarp, F. (2012). Interactive resource development in new business relationships. Journal of Business Research, 65, 210–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gialletti, M. (2015). Report on statistics of Nautes. Company’s internal records. Google Scholar
  17. Grandin, K., Wormbs, N., & Widmalm, S. (Eds.). (2004). The Science-Industry Nexus. History, Policy, Implications, Science History Publications: Sagamore Beach, MA.Google Scholar
  18. Håkansson, H., & Ford, D. (2002). How should company interact in business networks? Journal of Business Research, 55(2), 133–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Håkansson, H., & Snehota, I. (Eds.). (1995). Developing relationships in business networks. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Håkansson, H., & Snehota, I. (2002). The burden of relationships or who’s next? In D. Ford (Ed.), Understanding business markets (pp. 88–94). London: Thompson Learning.Google Scholar
  21. Håkansson, H., & Waluszewski, A. (2002). Managing technological development. IKEA, the environment and technology. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Håkansson, H., & Waluszewski, A. (Eds.). (2007). Knowledge and innovation in business and industry. The importance of using others. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. IGU. (2015). 2015 Company’s report.Google Scholar
  24. Johnsen, T., & Ford, D. (2007). Customer approaches to product development with suppliers. Industrial Marketing Management, 36(3), 300–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jones, O., & Holt, R. (2008). The creation and evolution of new business ventures: An activity theory perspective. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 15(1), 51–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. La Rocca, A., Ford, D., & Snehota, I. (2013). Initial relationship development in new business ventures. Industrial Marketing Management, 42, 1025–1032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. La Rocca, A., & Perna, A. (2014). New venture acquiring position in an existing network. The IMP Journal, 2(8), 64–73.Google Scholar
  28. Mayan, M. J. (2009). Essentials of qualitative inquiry. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.Google Scholar
  29. Pavitt, K. (2004). Changing patterns of usefulness of university research. Opportunities and dangers. In Grandin et al. (Eds.), The science-industry nexus. History, policy, implications (pp. 119–131). Sagamore Beach, MA: Science History Publications.Google Scholar
  30. Penrose, E. (1959). The theory of the growth of the firm, Reprint 1995. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Shane, S., & Venkataraman, S. (2000). The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Academy of Management Review, 25(1), 217–226.Google Scholar
  32. Snehota, I. (2011). New business formation in business networks. The IMP Journal, 5(1), 1–9.Google Scholar
  33. Stake, R. E. (2005). Qualitative case studies. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (pp. 443–466). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  34. Van de Ven, A., Polley, D., Garud, R., & Venkataraman, S. (1999). The innovation journey. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrico Baraldi
    • 1
  • Andrea Perna
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fabio Fraticelli
    • 2
  • Gian Luca Gregori
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Engineering SciencesUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of ManagementUniversitaà Politecnica delle MarcheAnconaItaly

Personalised recommendations