The impact of academic technology: do modes of involvement matter? The Flemish case

J. Callaert, M. Du Plessis, Bart van Looy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Patent statistics that reflect university technology development have become increasingly relevant as academia adopts entrepreneurial objectives while facing a trend toward more accountability. In this contribution, we focus on the patent activity of Flemish universities (period 1991-2001). In Flanders, university patenting has become explicitly incentivized through policy measures (1996) and more recently even resource allocation schemes are resulting in a notably high share of universities in the overall patent portfolio of the regional innovation system. As a result, one might expect inflationary effects on the level of academic patents, especially in terms of quality. In addition, we analyze whether the impact of academic patents depends on the mode of university involvement (university-invented vs university-owned). Overall, we observe a considerable increase in both types of academic patenting without any deterioration (over time) of citation rates. Moreover, our findings indicate that university-owned patents receive more forward citations than university-invented (firm-owned) patents. Combined, these findings signal that the increase of academic patent activity-stimulated by policies granting ownership rights to universities-did not coincide with a decrease in their value.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-472
Number of pages17
JournalIndustry and innovation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • IR-87270
  • METIS-297854


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