Entrepreneurship in Science: Case Studies from Liquid Crystal Application
By Peter Armstrong
Current UK policy on the knowledge-driven economy places a heavy weight of expectation on the fostering of entrepreneurial attitudes amongst university scientists. Interviews with the owner-managers of innovative companies in liquid crystal technology suggest that scientist-entrepreneurs are not simply scientists who have become imbued with the entrepreneurial spirit. They are also characterised by particular approaches to science and market intelligence. As scientists, they are fascinated by science-based effects (rather than science as a body of knowledge), knowledge of which tends to be acquired through interpersonal networks. Their knowledge of markets, similarly, tends to be acquired by networking with users. The result is a dynamic mental landscape in which application possibilities constantly churn against user needs to yield a stream of new product concepts, and in which there exists the possibility of insuring against the risks of career moves and strategic changes of direction. Assuming these findings can be replicated in further research, the implication is that the formation of scientist-entrepreneurs may need to foster ‘concrete’ attitudes towards science and a networking style of operation.
page: 133 – 147
Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 18, Issue 2