The Transformation of Basic Research into Commercial Value: Economics Aspects and Practical Issues
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Basic research may be considered as the first step in the knowledge generation or innovation process. Knowledge is probably recognized as the most important factor in the development of national economies. Governments therefore have a role in ensuring and subsidizing the basic science to generate knowledge aimed to improve social welfare. Since basic research is conducted mainly at universities nowadays, they should set to support all aspects of knowledge generation and transfer - from basic research (invention) to innovation and ultimately, to commercialization. The transformation of knowledge or innovation into commercial value depends primarily on efficient pathway(s) of technology transfer by universities’ technology transfer organizations. Ideally, universities should seek to transfer technology to the private sector in order to capture the benefits of commercialization of their innovation. However, in circumstances where the innovation is at an early or premature stage, consequently far from materializing to a product, licensing to industrial enterprises is not (always) plausible, hence feasible alternatives should be sought. In this short review, we argue possible modi operandi to achieve these goals.
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