In developed countries, the academic entrepreneurship makes up a very important element of academic environment actvites. For some tme, the increase in the role of technology transfer and knowledge commercialisaton has been also promoted in Poland. Strong connectons between the scholarship and the economy (in the future, within the university of the third generaton) have a chance to build an economy based on knowledge in our country. The ﬂow of knowledge and the introducton of new solutons (results of scholarly research) in enterprises take place through the intermediary of various methods of transfer and commercialisaton paths. Independent of the manner, each fulfls an important role in the public life and economy. This is confrmed by the experience of the States that are recognised as innovaton leaders, and presented in the paper as examples of Polish scholars’ academic entrepreneurship.
Keywords: academic entrepreneurship, technology transfer, commercialisaton, spin-oﬀ companies, technological cooperaton.
Social and economic transformatons in the world economy being under way for a few recent dozen years have caused a change in the development paradigm - in the modern theories of economic growth and development, the so-called innovatveness paradigm gained on importance. Following the increase in the share of knowledge and technological progress in producton processes, people started to notce that the rate and quality of economic growth in the economy at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries are determined by the knowledge and human capital, the creaton of entrepreneurship with the use of a skilful transformaton of research and development results into commercial solutons and the creaton of advantageous insttutonal conditons for the innovaton to occur. This can be found at every level of economy in micro–meso–macro scales.
The experience of developed countries, recognised as the leaders of knowledgebased economy (for instance, the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Great Britain, USA, Japan, Singapore and others) confrms that the development of contemporary economy and the increase in its compettveness require a contnuous applicaton of technology, innovatons and skills to commercialise scholarly knowledge. The scholarly research (basic, applied and development works), the transfer of technology and the cooperaton between the university and the economy have become the basis for their achievements (Łącka, 2011). The essence of these connectons is the transfer by scholars of technological and organisatonal knowledge and practcal experience related thereto to entrepreneurs and their implementaton by companies, so as to achieve economic benefts. New product processing, organisatonal and even social solutons facilitate an increase in the productvity of enterprises, an improvement in work efciency and quality. They also foster the creaton of new business enttes (for instance, the socalled spin-oﬀ companies) new work places, new prospects for human business, the launching of new products into the market, the creaton of new streams of demand and new markets, discovering new resources and the applicaton of new methods for the use of the existng producton factors (Transfer of technology and development 2004).
An efcient connecton of scholarly research and business can be seen in enterprises based on knowledge, organised by scholars, which are to commercialise technology, technological knowledge and the skills acquired at their parent entty (university, research centre, or any other scholarly centre). In the countries which rank highest in innovatveness rankings (USA, Finland, Sweden, Japan, Singapore), the academic entrepreneurship and its enttes (spin-oﬀ companies) are recognised as a very eﬀectve mechanism of the ﬂow of scholarly research results into the economy. However, this is not the only way of knowledge and technology in-ﬂow into enterprises. Another channel is created by means of various agreements on cooperaton between scholars and entrepreneurs.
The system of technology transfer and knowledge commercialisaton
An integral part of a well-functoning innovatve system and a process of technological innovaton is the technology transfer. It may have an internal character (the ﬂow of knowledge and technology takes place within the State) and an external one (new solutons originate in foreign resources). The basis of economic growth and development of a given State should be its own potental in this feld and an efciently functoning system of technology transfer and commercialisaton at the regional level (Matusiak, Guliński, 2010).
The crucial elements of this system are domestc private and public universites, scholarly and research units, research insttutes belonging to private and public sectors, independent laboratories. These enttes are actve, using public and private funds for the research. The eﬀects of their work in the form of scholarly results, patents, knowhow and applicatons for the protecton of inventons, become an internal resource of innovaton, of which entrepreneurs and the economy may avail themselves.
Beside them, in the system, there are innovatve entrepreneurs (they belong primarily to the sector of SME), and new spin-oﬀ (spin-out) technological companies. This group of enttes handles the transformaton of knowledge and new solutons into market products and services. They adjust the projects of new solutons so as to be implemented in the economic practce.
Another very important element of the system are innovaton centres which include technological parks and incubators, technology transfer centres, pre-incubators, academic incubators, which oﬀer various types of support for the innovatve process, and insttutons that provide pro-innovatve services. Their task is to spread out knowledge and skills amongst the partcipants of innovatve processes. They ensure consultatons that consist, among others, in fnding out innovatve features of a product or technology, a new organisatonal soluton (notcing its innovatve potental and market opportunites, carrying out technological audits, working out a development strategy for a company or a scholarly and research unit and their use of technology transfer or knowledge commercialisaton). They also oﬀer technical and housing support. This group of enttes makes it possible to implement the intentons of the State, related to the support for innovatveness and entrepreneurship of economic enttes in Poland (by means of organising system conditons and assistance programmes directed at entrepreneurs and scholars).
The creaton and introducton of innovatons requires a fnancial supply, that is why the insttutons of fnancial support for innovatons are a very important group of enttes in the system of technology transfer, as they prepare an oﬀer of special instruments for fnancing the innovatve undertakings, and are characterised by a high level of risk and uncertainty (because of the specifcity unatractve for bank insttutons). They include such funds as seed capital, venture capital and business angel.
The system of technology transfer and knowledge commercialisaton covers also insttutons of market providers of consultaton, training and informaton services. These enttes act on commercial principles, calculatng their services necessary to implement the process of technology transfer and commercialisaton on market principles
The above-mentoned enttes enter into many interactons in the regional system. Among them, there are uni-directonal or bi-directonal ﬂows - of informaton, knowledge, technology, skills and fnancial resources. The intensity of connectons between scholarly and research insttutons and the economy is conditoned by the operaton of natonal and regional systems of innovaton and the pressure of the market demand for new products, services, organisatonal and marketng solutons (Łącka, 2011).
The essence and stages of technology transfer
The transfer of technology is defned in the literature of the subject in a diversifed manner which results, according to Nagrodkiewicz (2010), from the use of the word “technology” to describe the phenomenon whose semantc range is wider than that described by this word. This noton covers the feld of technology, dealing with drawing up and carrying out most advantageous processes of manufacturing and raw materials, half-products and products processing in given conditons. This is the knowledge on processing in a purposeful and economic way of natural goods into usable goods (PWN Encyclopaedia). With this approach, the technology does not refer to all operatons related to manufacturing and processing of products, the entrety of technical and organisatonal innovatons. Yet, the phenomenon of knowledge and technology ﬂow has a wider context than putng technical solutons into practce. Similar objectons may be notced in the views of foreign authors, for instance Allen (1984), Rosenberg (1982) and Radosevic (1999).
An approach to the essence of the transfer of technology is the defniton published in the paper “Innowacje i transfer technologii. Słownik pojęć” (Innovatons and transfer of technology. Dictonary of terms) (Matusiak, 2005, p. 168). It says that: “it is the transfer of informaton necessary for one subject to be able to copy the operaton of another subject. This informaton appears in two forms - of a technical nature (engineering, scientfc knowledge, standards) and procedures (among others, legal procedures, agreements on confdentality, patents, licences)”. Koch understands the transfer of technology in a similar way. He acknowledges that it is: “a purposeful, directed transfer of knowledge and skills to a producton process, with the purpose to successfully market the product obtained (Koch 1999). According to the UNCTAD (2001) experts, it is a ﬂow of “systematc knowledge to create a product, apply a process or provide services but it does not cover [the transfer - author’s note] of transactons which are limited exclusively to a sale or a lease of goods (following: Jasiński, Ludwicki, 2007, p.28).
The transfer of technology is also defned as a process of adjustment of the results of scholarly research, patents or original ideas to their practcal applicaton in manufacturing (Włosiński 2000). If we take into account the fact that innovatons may also have a servicing and public nature, then, this noton becomes further widened.
For American experts of the TreMont Consultng, LLC, the transfer of technology is a process of a formal transfer of the rights to use and commercialise new discoveries and innovatons, arising from scholarly research to the other party (Staecker, 2010). In this approach, the process is initated by the preceding stages which make the transfer of technology possible. They consist in:
- fnancing research works,
- obtaining research results – inventons,
- protecton of intellectual property rights and managing them.
The later aspect is partcularly emphasized because of the potental to commercialise the research results and the necessity to assure the right of priority and the protecton of innovatons. As to the transfer of technology process, according to the American experts, it covers the following stages:
- licensing and possibly implementaton,
During the evaluaton, the market potental of the new soluton is assessed with the help of a technological audit, the strategy for commercialisaton is set out and strong and weak sides of the innovatve undertaking are determined. This stage facilitates making a decision on the way the new soluton shall be used so as to bring about the largest possible benefts. In this case, the inventon shall be treated not only as a scholarly value but also a potental economic beneft. This requires carrying out market and economic analyses which shall allow to compare the potental costs of protecton for a given technological soluton (for instance, costs of applying for the protecton of exclusive rights and costs of its maintenance) with the potental profts that the inventon process could generate in the next years. The analysis of this type is not easy to be carried out as it is difcult to evaluate the future benefts - their volume and value are uncertain and burdened with a signifcant risk. The forecasts are not always confrmed. Sometmes the introducton of the inventon and the acquisiton of acquirers take longer than it has been forecast. However, one may not give up the evaluaton as it is a basis to take up further operatons in the process of new soluton commercialisaton. This stage is also connected with the necessity to get a protecton for the inventon. The most suitable form of protecton, its temporal and territorial range, shall be selected to reserve the exclusive rights.
Afer the protecton applicaton has been lodged, the communicaton with the market starts by means of marketng operatons, together with the promoton of the new soluton and the search for potental receivers. At this stage, the informaton on a given inventon is published. The commercialising insttute (for instance, Centre of Technology Transfer), atempts to present it in a simple, understandable language, showing the values of the new soluton and potentals to use it. This type of informaton is published in printed promotonal materials. Apart from that, other informaton distributon channels are used for publicatons (patent databases, technological quotaton bases, conferences, exhibitons, shows and fairs, electronic mail, media, etc). A growth in the interest of businesses in the innovatons follows, and they try to get in touch both with the commercialising insttute and the inventor.
In the subsequent stage, the method of technology transfer shall be selected. In the case of a new soluton, the transfer of scholarly research results may take place through licensing, sale, or a spin-oﬀ company. At the licensing stage, an agreement is prepared and concluded, allowing for the use of exclusive rights to the inventon, utlity design, industrial design, and topography of electronic circuit or master work which is the object of the copyright. The owner of the rights may decide to transfer them in return for benefts in the form of licence fees. An alternatve for licensing is the sale of intellectual property (patents, material copyrights, know-how, or an independent further development of technology and the introducton of the new soluton within the existent or newly created technological (spin-oﬀ) company. The variants of commercialisaton methods of the results of research development works of university scholars are presented in Figure 1.
The decision on the selecton of commercialisaton methods of the new soluton is conditoned upon several factors. They are, among others: legislaton terms in a given State (among others, those related to the indicaton who gets the right to the intellectual property), types and features of technology and the degree of its advance, the scope of intellectual property rights protecton, the type of target market where it is to be used, fnancial potental of the subject (entrepreneur, university, insttute, scholars), possible potental to get fnancial support from various sources and the readiness of the owner (a group of owners) of the inventon to take up the risk of running business and to engage into running a spin-oﬀ company or into entering a joint-venture company (Shane, Cable, 2002; Shane, Stuart, 2002).
Independent of the selected methods of commercialisaton, in the end a new soluton is introduced in the market, which may be completed by means of acceptance of a given technology, product or service, etc. in the market. If the new soluton is accepted by the buyers, then the commercialisaton is deemed successful. Its confrmaton shall be getng profts from sales, licence fees, revenues from knowhow, etc. At this stage, a permanent monitoring of fnancial benefts gained from the intellectual property rights shall be carried out together with the control of dutes being fulflled by the licences.
American and European understanding of academic entrepreneurship
In recent years, in partcular since the reform of the scholarship and research in Poland, a signifcant interest in the subject of academic entrepreneurship has grown, also with reference to the impact on the functoning of scholarly and research units, the creaton of connectons between scholars and entrepreneurs, technology transfer and knowledge commercialisaton and innovatveness of Polish economy and its enttes (Guliński, Zasiadły, 2005; Tamowicz, 2006, Bąk, Kulawczuk, 2009; Łącka, 2011). This is the result of the discussion on the necessity to have a deep transformaton in the model of functoning of Polish universites and scholarly and research insttutes, as well as their relaton with the economy. The discussion is stll on with reference to the introducton of the model of third generaton universites in Poland, which is supposed to join three purposes of their operaton - educaton, scholarly research and technology commercialisaton (Wissema, 2005).
As indicated by Cieślik (Tomtas, Anders, 2005), this term is used in various sources (expert opinions, scholarly artcles, ofcial documents) in an ambiguous manner. In the American approach (Shane, 2004), the academic entrepreneurship is reﬂected directly in the creaton of new enterprises (spin-oﬀ companies). This noton designates enttes created by the members of the academic community to commercialise and transfer technology which makes up an element of intellectual property, created in the parent academic insttuton. Such a narrow percepton of academic entrepreneurship is characteristc of American literature (Smilor et all, 1990; Radosevich, 1995; Powers, McDougall, 2005). Sometmes this noton is narrowed even more, to the engagement of scholars, with the exclusion of students and graduates) in forming the so-called professors’ companies.
Polish experts defne the spin-oﬀ or spin-out companies in a similar manner (these two terms are frequently used interchangeably) (Matusiak, 2005). This type of enterprises comes into being as a result of an employee/employees of the parent company or a scientfc or research insttute, insttuton or research laboratory becoming independent and creatng a business, using intellectual, material and organisatonal resources of the parent insttuton. A spin-oﬀ or spin-out company may have various relatons with the parent scholarly insttuton (no formal connectons, licensing agreements, university capital share in the company in return for making the intellectual property rights available).
Yet, in Europe, the academic entrepreneurship is described in much broader terms. The noton is understood as any involvement of scholarly insttutons, their academic, auxiliary and administratve employees, students preparing doctor’s thesis and students in the economic business and the creaton by these enttes of any companies (not necessarily using intellectual property). Such an approach to the academic entrepreneurship results from the inclusion of universites into the group of insttutons which have an impact on shaping the entrepreneurship (Guliński, Zasiadły, 2005). In this case, the academic entrepreneurship includes any enterprise formed by a person connected in any way to a university, also an enterprise that is not formed for the purpose of technology commercialising.
The diﬀerences between the European and American approaches result from a lower level of entrepreneurship in Europe and the necessity to support the proentrepreneurial attudes in the European populaton. Because of this, the academic entrepreneurship is defned in a wide approach as the whole spectrum of procedures with reference to supportng the relatons between the scholars and the economy, pre-incubators and incubators of enterprises, originatng from scholarly enttes. The variety of spin-oﬀ companies phenomenon taken into account, Nicolaou and Birley defned three spin-oﬀ groups which diﬀer from one another in terms of the manner in which the owner, the university and intellectual property are involved, (Nicolaou, Birley, 2003). The following types can be distnguished amongst them:
- orthodox type - the enterprise bases its functoning on a scholar-inventor, and the technology transferred,
- hybrid type - the company uses the technology transferred whereas scholars and other persons engaged in the enterprise may be stll within the university and in the company they are, for instance, members of scholarly board (consultng functon), supervisory board (control functon),
- technological type - the spin-oﬀ company uses the technology transferred from the university, however, on principle of cooperatve technology transfer, and the scholar has no contact with the newly formed company; the inventor may, however, have his shares or oﬀer his consultaton services.
The European approach to the academic entrepreneurship and its manifestatons is reﬂected in ofcial documents related to the use of aid resources from the European Union within the Human Capital Operatng Programme. These resources are designated to support various projects of academic entrepreneurship (the creaton of spin-oﬀ companies included). In the case of spin-oﬀ companies, they are not only limited to those which use intellectual property generated in the parent university. The only thing which is emphasized is the fact they should commercialize innovatve solutons, the knowledge or technology. There is no requirement to use protected knowledge (by a patent or in another manner) which was generated in the scholarly entty. Companies may be founded not only by scholars and Ph.D. students but also students and graduates in the period of 12 months afer graduaton. In partcular, in the case of the later group, it is difcult to accept that they found companies based on protected technology (Cieślik, 2009).
While trying to get out of this notonal chaos and to take into account the specifcity of Polish economy (weakly developed entrepreneurship and innovatveness, strong dependency on the European Union’s aid for the pro-innovatve and entrepreneurial actvites) the applicaton of holistc approach to academic entrepreneurship is recommended together with its various manifestatons. This means including in this noton various entrepreneurship actvites of university scholarly staﬀ and also shaping the entrepreneurial orientaton of students and graduates (preparing them to found their own companies based on the knowledge acquired during their studies). Enterprises may be founded by students and graduates during their studies or afer graduaton. These subjects may start their business related to the knowledge acquired while studying at the university or related to a completely diﬀerent feld. The business of the scholarly staﬀ refers both to the spin-oﬀ companies (defned in a narrow sense) and the cooperatve forms of technology transfer. These may be contracts related to carrying out research and development works, as commissioned by the industry, joint launching, joint research with an industrial partner or technological consultng (Cieślik, 2009; Łącka, 2011).
Micro–meso–macro impact of academic entrepreneurship
All forms of so understood academic entrepreneurship lead to knowledge transfer and commercialisaton into the economy, although it needs to be the knowledge covered by protectve rights. Most phenomena related to the technology transfer and knowledge commercialisaton do not have the nature of spin-oﬀ companies, even in the developed countries (Guliński, Zasiadły, 2005; Tamowicz, 2006). Moreover, one should not expect a dynamic development of this form of entrepreneurship either in developed countries, or in Poland. The support of academic entrepreneurship may be helpful. However, many other factors determine the readiness of scientsts or Ph.D students to undertake their business, partcularly charged with such a high risk. Fortunately, the inﬂow of scholarly research results to the economy also takes place by means of other forms of academic entrepreneurship. Spin-oﬀ companies are only one form of their manifestatons. Apart from that, the transfer takes place within technological cooperaton of scholars and research workers with entrepreneurs (broadly understood as contracts related to scholarly and research cooperaton, launching, contract research, licences, patents and know-how sale by universites to businesses, exchange of the staﬀ, consultatons, etc).
The transfer and commercialisaton of knowledge and technology exert a multdimensional impact on micro–meso–macroeconomic levels. University employees together with Ph.D students and graduates, make available to third party persons and insttutons (primarily entrepreneurs) their knowledge, infrastructure and research results through the intermediary of various forms of knowledge and technology transfer and commercialisaton. Their launching into the market (innovatons) allows to strengthen the compettve positon of the existng companies, to create new enterprises and as to entrepreneurs, scholars and insttutes of the research and development sector, to obtain many benefts of economic, organisatonal and strategic nature (Łącka, 2011).
We should not forget the positve eﬀects of various connectons between scholarly and research enttes and the companies of the region and the State. In the mesoeconomic aspect, they foster the regional development. They contribute, among others, to an increase in the number of enterprises and innovatve companies in the region (the Small and Medium-Size Enterprises included), to the growth of companies’ local expenses for development and research works, together with innovatons, to a growth in the number of those employed in the existng enterprises and to found new workplaces, as a result of company business diversifcaton, to atract new investors, to increase the proceeds from local taxes, to reduce the migraton of residents to other regions.
The macro-economic aspect taken into account, the impact of the academic entrepreneurship, among others: on the development of the domestc scholarship, directed to the commercialisaton of its results, the improvement of the scholarship positon in the world rankings, the appropriate allocaton of public and private funds, designated to research development and innovatve business, the development of the existng industry and services sectors and new felds of economy based on knowledge, the growth in the number of enterprises and employment in the State, the increase in the proceeds from taxes in the budget, the development of modern educaton system at each of its stages.
Technology transfer and commercialisaton within the academic entrepreneurship in Poland - examples
Academic entrepreneurship, technology transfer and knowledge commercialisaton through its intermediary are stll weakly developed in Poland. It was only recently, following fnancing from the European Union funds between 2007 and 2013, and afer a group of acts reforming the educaton system entered into force in 2010, that an intensifcaton of actons intended to increase the actvity of scholarly community in the feld of technology transfer occurred. However, even in this situaton, we can fnd examples of connectons between scholars and entrepreneurs which make possible the research results ﬂow to the economy. The research of Łącka (2011) proved that only in a few cases, the technology transfer took place through the intermediary of spinoﬀ companies, founded for this purpose. Most frequently, it was implemented within various cooperaton contracts between scholars sand entrepreneurs. This cooperaton was started most frequently during the performance of target projects, reported primarily by universites and research insttutes (referred to earlier as development and research enttes). Their partners in these projects were Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, and the research results were launched in these enterprises. The limited framework of this paper taken into account, only a few of such examples may be presented.
Technology transfer within the cooperaton between technical universites together with research insttutes scholars and “PZL-Rzeszów” Wytwórnia Sprzętu Komunikacyjnego S.A.
In 2003, a group of 18 entrepreneurs of the aviaton industry in the south-east of Poland (Podkarpacie Region), decided to found an industrial cluster in the aviaton industry, named Aviaton Valley (Dolina Lotnicza). The Rzeszow University of Technology adhered to this initatve, together with its well-developed Faculty of Machine Constructon and Aviaton. One of the purposes for this cluster was to cooperate and develop the aviaton industry and universites, scholarly and research insttutes. They were to carry out research in the feld of new concepts for the needs of its members and to develop the research and development sector in the aviaton industry. The centre of advanced technologies “AERONET - Aviaton Valley (Dolina Lotnicza) - founded in 2004, actng as a consortum was to serve this task. It was founded by the Rzeszow University of Technology (coordinator), Lublin, Łodź, Silesian, Warsaw Universites of Technology, The University of Rzeszow and the Aviaton Valley Associaton. Later, the consortum was also joined by the Aviaton Insttute of Warsaw, Insttute of Fundamental Technological Research Polish Academy of Sciences, The Insttute of Fluid-Flow Machinery Polish Academy of Sciences, the Air Force Insttute of Technology, and the Czestochowa University of Technology. As a result of this cooperaton, the Polish Aeronautcal Technology Platorm was also organised.
Currently, the cluster is made up of 72 enterprises, with 21K employees and the sales amountng to over 1 000 000 000 USD per annum. Amongst them, there is the founder - “PZL-Rzeszów” WSK S.A. For many years, this enterprise has been cooperatng with universites (long tme before the Aviaton Valley came into being) which run research works for the needs of the company. The technological partnership with the Warsaw and Silesian Universites of Technology, and the Insttute for Ferrous Metallurgy had a signifcant importance when PZL-Rzeszów WSK was carrying out a job for General Electric, an American company, which produced engines for Embraer, Brazilian aircrafs.
This was connected to the manufacturing of engine turbine blades, as commissioned by the General Electric. It was a very difcult order because of the necessity to manufacture the parts very precisely and to comply with very high quality requirements. Its implementaton was possible, owing to the cooperaton with experts from both universites and the Insttute for Ferrous Metallurgy. The cooperaton on the projects took two years. PZL-Rzeszów WSK was manufacturing the blades which were then sent to scholars, to check their operaton. Afer a cycle of tests, they indicated the necessary changes in the technology and together with the enterprise they elaborated methods for acceptance tests of the produced blades. The transfer of knowledge and technology made it possible to generate a product which corresponded to the high requirements of the American contractor. Thus, the commercialisaton of a new soluton took place.
The positve experience coming from the cooperaton with Polish scientsts encouraged the company to start up other joint undertakings with scholars. One of them was the project to start up manufacturing of hydraulic conduits, designated for most types of modern aircrafs and helicopters (military and civil ones), for instance (F- 16, Boeing 737, Boeing 747, Boeing 757, Mc Donnel Douglas DC-10, Airbus A300, Airbus A310. PZL-Rzeszów WSK became the subcontractor of the American company. They were supposed to be also used by other world companies such as: Prat & Whitney Canada, R.R. Donnelly, Snecma and General Electric.
The Polish company from Rzeszów needed a scientfc and research support that would allow them to satsfy the requirements of the aviaton equipment receivers, with reference to soldering connectons, with the use of vacuum soldering and inducton soldering technology. For this purpose, it concluded a scientfc research cooperaton contract with the Producton Engineering Plant of the Warsaw University of Technology and with the Insttute of Precision Mechanics in Warsaw. The cooperaton allowed to develop and implement on a producton scale the technologies for hydraulic conduits soldering with various types of connectng union pieces (based on the solders of the Ag-Cu-Ni and Au-Ni types).
Technology transfer and commercialisaton within spin-oﬀ companies
An example of the use of spin-oﬀ companies for technology transfer and commercialisaton is Cemat Silicon S.A. It is a classic example of an orthodox spinoﬀ company with the applicaton of technology transferred to the company. It was founded in consequence of a research cooperaton of a group of scientsts from the ITME Insttute of Electronic Materials Technology in Warsaw with “Cemat” Company while producing crystal silica and silica plates (by Czochralski method). These products make up a basis for printed circuits in electronic processors. In 1992, the technological cooperaton brought about a spin-oﬀ company, in which ITME has 20% of shares. This company exports its whole producton and has a leading positon in the world market. It stll co-operates with ITME in Warsaw, improving the technology and producton methods.
Another spin-oﬀ company was a result of a lack of interest of domestc entrepreneurs in the possibility to launch a technology prepared by scholars. Employees of the Fertlisers Research Insttute in Puławy, within research and development works, invented a modern method of hop extracton and pelletng, for the needs of breweries. The Puławy Insttute, within the target project, developed an industrial process of hop pelletng and extracton. Unfortunately, this industry in Poland being taken over by foreign capital groups together with the change in producton technology brought about the eliminaton of Polish hop producers. This caused no possibility to fnd a company interested in launching the new soluton.
This situaton encouraged the employees of the Insttute to take up the risk and organise a spin-oﬀ company. At its own cost, the company (having incurred a loan) built, equipped and launched the producton line. Thus, a new factory was created based on its own modern producton technology which manufactures hop extract of the highest quality parameters for Polish breweries and exports it. Its producton covers the hop extract demand of Polish breweries completely, and the quality of the products contributes to conquering the foreign markets. The implementaton of this undertaking and the decision adopted on founding the spin-oﬀ company prevented the collapse of Polish hop farms - our country is the third hop producer in Europe.
A good example of technology transfer from the academic world to the economy is the business of READ-GENE S.A. spin-oﬀ company (professors’ company) whose president is the Szczecin genetcist, prof. Jan Lubiński. The company was founded in 2005 by scholars of Hereditary Cancer Centre of the Pomeranian Medical Academy PAM (currently Pomeranian Medical University PUM), directed by prof. J. Lubiński. Since 2009, the company has been noted at the Securites Exchange in Warsaw (the New Connect Market). It handles the methods of detecton, preventon and treatment of the most widespread malignant cancers. Since 2011, the company has contnued research on the impact of various micro and macro elements and vitamins on cancer aficton and on drawing up new dietary supplements.
From the very beginning, READ-GENE S.A was founded with the target of an internatonal scale business and the selecton of the organisatonal and legal form was to serve this purpose together with the business model. Its basis is the commercialisaton of the results of the company’s own research and scientfc technology generated by the Internatonal Hereditary Cancer Centre (MCND) and the Centre of Genetcs and Pathomorphology of the Pomeranian Medical University (PUM) in Szczecin. Pursuant to the licence agreement, signed with PAM in December 2005, READ-GENE S.A. company obtained the access to the technology generated within PAM. The licence agreement ensures to the company the exclusivity of technology commercialisaton, composed of patents, a base of biological specimens and clinical data of patents registered in MCMD, trading secrets, know-how (Annual report 2012). The university is receiving 20% of the company’s proceeds from sales.
The development of the economy based on knowledge in Poland requires a closer cooperaton between the scholarship and the economy, as well as an intensive knowledge and technology transfer and the commercialisaton of scholarly research results. In this process, an actve role of scholars and scholarly and research insttutons within academic entrepreneurship is necessary. This can be implemented in the form of technological companies (spin-oﬀ, professors’ companies) founded by scholars. They decide to run a risky business, using the intellectual property of the university. Another very common manner of technology transfer and commercialisaton consists in startng the cooperaton between the scholarly and research employees and entrepreneurs in the form of contracts on cooperaton with reference to research and development, contract research, licenses, the use of know-how, implementaton, consultatons, etc.
The academic entrepreneurship has an advantageous impact on the economy in micro–meso–macro scale. The technological cooperaton of the scholarly environment with the economy and the direct actvity of its representatves for the creaton of spinoﬀ companies, contribute to an increase in the innovatveness and entrepreneurship of the economy. This is also confrmed by the examples of technology transfer presented in the paper in various forms of academic entrepreneurship.
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