Dissertation Abstracts

University Fourth Mission: Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, Polytechnic of Turin, University of Trento and University of Messina between Spin-offs and Academic Entrepreneurship Creation

Author: Augusto Cocorullo, augusto.cocorullo@unina.it
Department: Department of Social Sciences
University: University of Naples Federico II, Italy
Supervisor: Prof. Stefano Boffo
Year of completion: 2017
Language of dissertation: Italian

Keywords: Academic Entrepreneurship , Spin-offs , Matrix of trends , Fourth Mission
Areas of Research: Education , Conceptual and Terminological Analysis , Economy and Society


Universities are now considered vital players in the process of the transfer of knowledge, innovation and technology from the academic to the commercial/productive sector. If in the past universities covered this role by granting patents to outsiders, the situation has deeply changed. Today academic institutions are also dedicated to the creation and promotion of spin-offs and start-ups, as instruments for responding to the social pressure on accountability and dialogue with economy through the sharing of scientific research results. concept. The thesis aims to investigate the University Spin-offs (USOs) phenomenon, adopting a multidimensional approach, and analyzes the existing definitions of USOs in order to systematize them and to identify criteria for classifying the different aspects of this multi-headed The analysis of the literature produced so far in this field of research allowed to outline a comprehensive and complete phenomenon, highlighting strengths and weaknesses related to the process of creating new enterprises by universities research activities. The analysis of USOs from a quantitative approach, based on the analysis of data from official statistical sources (Anvur, Netval, Cineca), has enabled to reconstruct the configuration assumed by the phenomenon in Italy, in relation to the variables identified in the first section of the research. In addition, the analysis of four case-studies – the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, the Polytechnic of Turin, the University of Trento and the University of Messina – allowed to reconstruct the profiles of these universities, not only in terms of degree of involvement in the spin-offs creation process, but also in relation to the models adopted during this process, and to show that the growing number of spin-offs can (also) be explained as a result of the decline of stable positions in Italian universities. It has been described the role of university spin-offs as a tool for allow young scientific researchers to pursue research and applications otherwise not achievable by university staff, introducing a new qualitative analytical tool, called “matrix of trends” (as a new tool for the qualitative analysis in the filed of the sociological research) addressed to locate spin-off actors following their first aims (academic or entrepreneurial), and exploring four possible identity-working configurations of academic actors involved in the USOs creation process.

We use own or third-party cookies to improve your user experience. If you allow the installation of cookies or continue to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies..

Read more