The DRUID Society Summer Conference. 17-19 Junio 2009
The debate on the entrepreneurial university has raised questions about what motivates academics to engage with industry. This paper provides evidence, based on survey data for a comprehensive sample of UK investigators in the physical and engineering sciences. Our results suggest that most academics engage with industry to further their research rather than to commercialize their knowledge. However, there are differences in terms of the channels of engagement. While patenting and spin-off company formation is motivated exclusively by commercialization, joint research, contract research and consulting are strongly informed by research-related motives. We conclude that policy should refrain from focusing on monetary incentives for industry engagement and consider a broader range of incentives for promoting interaction between academia and industry.