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The determinants of University spinout formation and survival: The UK context of network, investment, and management team effects

Prokop, Daniel ORCID: 2017. The determinants of University spinout formation and survival: The UK context of network, investment, and management team effects. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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UK universities attract increasing attention from policy-makers searching for regional solutions to economic development challenges. Consequently, university spinout companies have featured prominently in UK policy-making, as they embody a transfer of knowledge of the most complex and comprehensive character. However, whilst the positive contribution of spinout companies to regional economies is widely accepted, little is known of how to ensure high quality outcomes from such knowledge commercialisation activities. This thesis aims to improve the understanding of this problem by examining the elements that contribute to the success of academic spinouts in the UK context. It investigates dual meaning of success: spinout formation and survival, conceptualised here as embedded in university networks composed of multiple actors. It is set within a post-positivistic paradigm and employs an explanatory sequential mixed methods research design. The quantitative part identifies the elements contributing to the success of spinout companies using data on 870 spinout companies extracted from university websites and supplemented with financial, economic and educational databases; and leads to the qualitative part, explaining differential performance of spinout companies across UK regions with data collected through semi-structured interviews conducted at four illustrative university networks. It is found that the success of spinout companies depends on networks, investment, and management teams. However, the formation and survival of spinout companies differs across a number of elements: technology transfer offices, business incubators, other actors, and geography; suggesting bi-dimensional complexity across space and success measures. The variable spatial performance of university networks determining spinout company outcomes is explained by connectedness, filtration and time: successful spinout companies originate from university networks that have capability to build and exploit network capital. It is suggested that regional innovation systems require designs oriented towards these diverse spinout success outcomes, formation and survival-based, with strong local adaptations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Funders: ESRC
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2022 12:01

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