Unleashing Explorative Potential: Spin-Outs as Linking Contexts of Inventors’ Communities

Prof. Dr. Stefano Breschi, Università Commerciale L. Bocconi

This paper focuses on corporate spin-outs as organizational contexts to catalyze research talents from diverse knowledge communities and, hence, encourage these researchers to establish cross-disciplinary collaborations to develop innovative technological solutions. We argue that inventors who experience spin-out increase the likelihood of collaborating with inventors who belong to other communities, whereas a control group of inventors who remain in the parent organization do so at a lower rate. Moreover, building on the intuition that network centrality leads to embeddedness, we argue that central inventors should benefit more from the spin-out experience than peripheral inventors. Using longitudinal data on the patenting activity of a sample of inventors employed in 8 US large corporations and their spin-outs we find evidence consistent with our predictions.

About the speaker
Stefano Breschi obtained his PhD from the Department of Economics, Università di Pavia (Italy) in 1994. He is Professor of Applied Economics and Deputy Director of the Knowledge, Innovation, Internationalization, Technology Studies (KITeS) Research Centre at the Università Commerciale L. Bocconi, Milan (Italy). His main research interests are in the economics of technical change, industrial dynamics, social networks, economics of science, economics of the patent system, economic geography and regional economics. He carried out several research projects for international (e.g. European Commission DG Research, DG Information Society) and national (e.g. ENEA, Confindustria) organisations. He is author of numerous articles in journals like Economic Journal, Research Policy, Industrial and Corporate Change, Regional Studies, Journal of Economic Geography among others.

Venue: Conference Room

Date: 12 April 2012

Time: 12:30 - 13:30


UNU-MERIT