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Research-based Spin-offs Issues in benchmarking OECD member country performance Workshop Objectives Review of definitions and data available Elaboration of spin-off models/typology Review of strategies and policies for the promotion of spin-offs

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Research-based Spin-offs

Issues in benchmarking OECD member country performance

Technology and Innovation Policy Committee (8 December 1999)


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Workshop Objectives

  • Review of definitions and data available

  • Elaboration of spin-off models/typology

  • Review of strategies and policies for the promotion of spin-offs

  • Evaluation of spin-offs as indicator of health of public-private interface in NIS

Technology and Innovation Policy Committee (8 December 1999)


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TIP Benchmarking Project

  • Spin-offs are onemeasurable mx of tech transfer b/t public and private sectors

  • We want to compare performance, but there are methodology challenges:

    • definitions

    • data comparability

    • weighting spin-offs in benchmarking exercise

  • Country input important to future work

Technology and Innovation Policy Committee (8 December 1999)


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What counts as a public research-based spin-off?

  • No standard definition

  • Narrow: any new firm which includes a public sector or univ employee as a founder

  • Broader: employee founders + licensees + firms in which the institution holds equity

  • Broadest: employees + licensees + equity + students/alumni + incubator firms + other?

Technology and Innovation Policy Committee (8 December 1999)


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Questionnaire Answers

Technology and Innovation Policy Committee (8 December 1999)


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Where to draw the line?

  • Too narrow: undercounts frequency with which countries/institutions generate new firms.

  • Too broad: distinction b/t public sector spin-offs and high tech start-ups becomes fuzzy.

  • Definitional consistency needed for OECD Benchmarking study

Technology and Innovation Policy Committee (8 December 1999)


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Spin-off formation rates

  • Not regularly monitored by most countries

  • A handful of countries have national data

    • Belgium, France, Germany, Norway

    • obtainable for Canada, UK, US

  • Institutional or regional v. national data

  • Yearly formation rates v. cumulative totals

  • Normalization of rates by researcher, institution, R&D funding

Technology and Innovation Policy Committee (8 December 1999)


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Type of Data

Technology and Innovation Policy Committee (8 December 1999)


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Future work (1)

  • Correspondence with governments to clarify definition and data sent to OECD

  • Focus on countries w/ national level data

  • More limited comparisons of countries with institutional or regional data, e.g. growth rates

  • Cooperation with other projects

Technology and Innovation Policy Committee (8 December 1999)


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Spin-off typologies

  • What exactly is exchanged between the public sector and a private spin-off?

    • Personnel, capital, licenses, physical space, equipment, contacts, know-how and services.

  • Investments made and returns expected

  • Options available to public sector institutions: spin-offs by design!

  • Advantages and disadvantages...

  • Technology and Innovation Policy Committee (8 December 1999)


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    Policies and Strategies

    • Funding

    • Incentives

      • IP rights allocation, licensing fees and royalties

      • rewards for entrepreneurship

      • personal, professional, financial risk reduction

    • Culture of entrepreneurship

    • Longer term support structures

      • finding partners, management & marketing services

    Technology and Innovation Policy Committee (8 December 1999)


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    Data on Lifecycles

    • Sparse information on how spin-offs grow and their long term prospects

      • Financial needs

      • Size and structure

      • Growth and survival rates

      • Exit strategies

    • Impressionistic -- spin-offs are small, grow relatively slowly, but survive longer than general population of SMEs

    Technology and Innovation Policy Committee (8 December 1999)


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    Future Work (2)

    • Role of the public sector in financing early stage public sector spin-offs

    • Data on the initial capital needs and burn rates of spin-offs

    • What are the funding sources?

    • What further info on spin-off life-cycles is of interest to member countries?

    Technology and Innovation Policy Committee (8 December 1999)


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    Spin-offs and Benchmarking

    • What is so special about spin-offs?

      • High skilled jobs, new firms, new industries, effect on public research priorities, role as intermediary.

    • Are spin-offs a necessity for a healthy NIS?

    • What should countries strive for:

      • existence of some spin-offs, steady growth rates, balance with other tech transfer mechanisms

    Technology and Innovation Policy Committee (8 December 1999)


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