Handbook of Universities and Regional Development
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Handbook of Universities and Regional Development

Edited by Attila Varga and Katalin Erdős

The Handbook on Universities and Regional Development offers a comprehensive and up-to-date insight into how academic institutions spur their surroundings. The volume sheds light on universities as regional development actors from a historical perspective by introducing institutional changes and discussing the interrelatedness of society, business and academia. It provides detailed investigations on various knowledge transfer mechanisms to help understand the diverse ways through which ideas and intellectual property can flow between universities and businesses. Detailed case studies from three continents (Europe, Asia, and America) demonstrate the highly contextual nature of the interactions between academia, industry and government.
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Chapter 9: The regional impacts of university spin-offs: in what ways do spin-offs contribute to the region?

Einar Rasmussen


The creation of university spin-off firms is seen as an important mechanism for generating economic and societal impacts from universities and for transferring university knowledge into application in society. Spin-offs are often localized near their parent university, but their importance for regional development is debated. This Chapter discuss research-based evidence on how university spin-offs may lead to regional impacts at several levels of analysis, both directly and indirectly. University spin-offs rarely grow into firms with significant regional impacts. Rather, the impacts of university spin-offs are more subtle, by indirect contributions to businesses and society. Rather than asking ‘what is the direct economic impacts of university spin-offs?’, it is more relevant to ask ‘how does spin-offs contribute to regional stakeholders, such as the university, regional businesses and industry, and the society more generally’. The Chapter outlines research opportunities and implications for how policy can harness the regional impacts of spin-offs.

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