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Commercialization of Science, Higher Education

The commercialization of academic science is one of the key features in the development of higher education over the last 40 years. From a rather unusual and circumscribed activity viewed suspiciously by scientists for most of the twentieth century, commercialization of academic research is now widely promoted and celebrated. Universities now commonly highlight successful products stemming from academic research and spin-off companies created by faculty and students as institutional achievements. What does the commercialization of science entail, and how does it matter?

Defining Commercialization

This discussion is about the deliberate efforts of universities and scientists to commercialize academic research. Hence, other colloquial uses of the term such as the claim that scientific activity as a whole is becoming more “commercial,” in the sense of being driven by shorter-term applications in industry, or that science is influenced by corporate sponsorship, are beyond the scope of this...


  • Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs)
  • University Patenting
  • Obtaining Research Support
  • Strict Patenting Approach
  • Academic Entrepreneurship

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Sá, C. (2018). Commercialization of Science, Higher Education. In: Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions. Springer, Dordrecht.

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