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Recently, entrepreneurship has been seen to be one of the key driving forces for economic development and growth since it is able to provide literally millions of opportunities for jobs. It also helps to offer a large variety of goods and services to consumers and in general helps to increase the prosperity and competitiveness in a nation (Stanworth, Blythe, Granger, & Stanworth, 1989). However, there is also a lot of debate on the technical knowledge transfer that takes place from universities to industries and on how these universities can continue to support the economic and technological development of countries.
It is very important to look at how significant this spinoff issue actually is to those in the United States and in Europe (Roberts, 1991). This is necessary because spinoffs seem to be growing at a rapid rate and entrepreneurship is getting extremely lucrative in many areas of the country (Roberts, 1991). It is necessary to shed light on the reasons behind this so that it can be more clearly understood. One of the reasons that it appears to be growing so quickly is that both innovation and entrepreneurship are very critical incentives in dealing with the development and growth of the economy and they also help to create various employment opportunities and increased productivity in many countries (Roberts, 1991).
Within the United States there are very strong governmental policies on technology and legal ideas that are very well protected (Seifert & Rubin, 1989). These help foster a much more friendly environment for entrepreneurial expression within academics. When looking at entrepreneurship since 1980, over five million work opportunities have been lost (Seifert & Rubin, 1989). However, some businesses have excelled quite well and created over 34 million new jobs for individuals (Seifert & Rubin, 1989). Other places across the globe are also seeing entrepreneurship as being the key that they need to unlock their economic development (Seifert & Rubin, 1989).
Within higher education institutions across the country and across the Western world the science and technology areas provide such a great deal of knowledge for individuals that they are no longer simply designed for research and education (Salzer, 1994; Hornaday, 1990; Nohria, 1992; Moncada, Tubke, Howells, & Carbone, 1999). Because the Western world in the form of the U.S., the UK, and Europe has become so strongly knowledge based in their economies those who work in academia are being asked to help with the development of regional economic issues and the creation of more employment (National Science Foundation, 1999). This is especially true of those individuals who work in research universities and they are asked to play a much larger role than they did in the past.
There have been various studies that have looked into this issue and how entrepreneurial efforts have been undertaken by those who work in academic institutions to help to create stronger economies and more jobs for individuals in the local area (Schulman, Ranan, & Streeter, 1999). Because of this, the traditional functions of research and education have been expanded into economic creation and it appears that not only will the trend continue but the amount of attention that is placed on this issue will continue to grow as it becomes more important in the future. There have been large research grants given out in the past from governments and other entities to support the ideas of many academic researchers in various countries.
Because government funding is gradually declining money comes to research and various other institutional activities in different ways now, and this is true of the way that entrepreneurs and SMEs get funding as well. Those who deal with academic research have been expanding these searches that they make toward finding other individuals that will help fund what they want to do. Transitioning over to a lighter dependence upon the government support that is offered for academic research is most significant within the UK and much of this came about beginning in the 1980s.
However, the United States also has seen this issue even though it has been hidden somewhat because government funding for research in specific areas such as health has continued to increase. It has become crucial recently to change not only the function but the structure of various universities to help facilitate the flow of knowledge into innovative technologies and industry through SMEs and entrepreneurial ventures. This being the case, though, things will change with the times and will keep these small companies moving forward and succeeding.
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