Innovation and Entrepreneurship of Professors in Public Universities: Case Study in Brazil
Keywords:Innovation and entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial professors, Information technology, Knowledge and technology transfer, Brazilian public university, Roadmapping
In the literature on academic entrepreneurship, the creation of academic spin-offs is one of the Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) channels most studied. The use of different KTT channels and the creation of spin-offs can be a source of opportunity for the overflow of knowledge and innovation with wealth creation. Although with a broad spectrum, research on academic entrepreneurship still has gaps to be explored in the literature. In Brazil, there is a lack of studies that explain more specifically how the professor at the public university transfers knowledge and technology and undertakes entrepreneurial activities. The main motivations of the doctoral research presented in this article are the lack of studies concerning the trajectory of successful entrepreneurial professors and the exploration of the use of different KTT channels in academic entrepreneurship for wealth creation. The general goal of the research is to identify the strategies used during the innovation trajectory of entrepreneurial professors in Information Technology (IT), who converted knowledge and scientific assets into wealth. To meet this goal, an adapted retrospective roadmapping approach was used to collect data, to map and to analyze the life trajectory of innovation of six professors from three Brazilian Public Universities in the IT area. The results made it possible to understand how professors innovated, became entrepreneurs and transferred knowledge and technology. They mobilized 136 strategies using different channels (e.g., Entrepreneurs Training, Collaborative Research and Development Projects, Technology Residency, Academic Spin-offs Creation, Academic Consulting). The professors' strategies resulted in a value distribution, with considerable wealth (tangible and intangible). The results showed that although there is no pattern in the professors' trajectories of innovation and entrepreneurship, there are several strategies common to the cases. One of them was to train qualified personnel at the university, based on intensive research in knowledge seeking to solve real market problems.