Commercialisation activity and the emergence of a university incubator in a public university in Ireland

Colm O’Gorman


We explore the emergence of organizational structures and forms, including the emergence of an incubator, in a public university not characterized by the resources typically considered essential for high levels of commercialization and spin-off activity. Our research is a single case study of a ‘traditional’ public funded university that has had to cope with many of the resource constraints characteristic of such universities. Despite the relative lack of public funded research, the teaching focus of many staff, and the relative absence of incentives for commercialization activity, the university initiated efforts to begin supporting and encouraging commercialisation as early as the mid 1980s. The paper illustrates how the university encouraged commercialisation activity and the organisation structures developed to support commercialisation; and how the TTO/incubator emerged over a period of twenty years. The paper makes an important contribution to our understanding of the path dependent processes associated with commercialization policies and activity.


Technological incubators; Public Universities; Universities Spin - offs

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