Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Industry science links

How to facilitate the translation of science into innovation

Jian Wang


Science is an important source of growth, but the translation of science into innovation is difficult and uncertain.  The economics and management literature has documented various mechanisms through which science contributes to firm innovative performance, using case studies and surveys.  Researchers have also attempted to quantify the contribution of university science to industry, using information such as university patenting, licensing, and spin-off activities. 

However, academic patenting is only one of the many channels for transferring university knowledge to industry and probably not the most important one.  On the other hand, patent references to the scientific literature provide a paper trail of knowledge flow from science to innovation, through a variety of formal and informal channels. 

Through tracing patent references to science, this project investigates characteristics of science that is particularly relevant for industrial innovation, that is, what kinds of science is more directly useful for industrial innovation.  The second goal of this project is to uncover individual, organizational and institutional factors driving successful translation of science into innovation, integrating economics, sociology, and psychology perspectives.  Answers to these questions will contribute to a better understanding of the pathway from science to innovation and also provide clues for policy and management intervention.

Selected publications

Veugelers R. & Wang J. (2015), Novel science for industry, FEB Research Report - MSI_1513


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