University spin-offs (USOs), i.e., firms based on university research, have attracted a considerable amount of research interest in the last decades (for a recent review see Grimaldi et al, 2011). Also policy makers in Europe and elsewhere have taken interest in measures to stimulate and facilitate commercialisation of university research (Jacobsson et al 2013). Previous research has focused on issues such as typologies of university spin-offs (Pirnay et al, 2002), lack of market knowledge and inferior growth performance compared to corporate spin-offs (Lindholm Dahlstrand,1997), different forms of research commercialisation such as licencing and spin-offs (Kenney and Patton, 2009), and the relation to university technology-transfer offices, incubators and the university itself (Lejpras and Stephan, 2011).
While we have learned quite a lot about USOs through this research, some topics are still under-researched. These include ssues regarding process and context of USOs (Wright, 2014). Furthermore, the issues of internationalisation and born globals (Bengtsson, 2004) do not seem to have attracted any attention even though USOs are incubated in highly internationalized university environments.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Does the process of USOs differ from other spin-off processes?
- What are the long-term effects of USOs?
- Are there processes which lead to a higher likelihood of success?
- What characterise successful USOs?
- Which contexts are beneficial to USOs?
- In which industrial and regional contexts do USOs matter most?
- Which roles do USOs have for industrial renewal and change?
- Do USOs follow the same pattern of internationalisation as other small businesses?
- Are born global USOs different from other USOs and/or from other born globals?
Submission of full paper: 1 November, 2015