Production of Knowledge Revisited: The Impact of Academic Spin-Offs on Public Research Performance in Europe (PROKNOW)


The PROKNOW project aims at analysing the interactions between public research institutions and academic spin-offs focusing on the impact of entrepreneurial and scientific activities on the academic research system. Based upon approaches in organisational sociology, science policy studies and science studies and analyzing the gains and losses of spin-off activities for public research institutions, PROKNOW examines the relevance of public and private forms of knowledge in innovative processes of knowledge production. Academic spin-offs often epitomize innovative forms of knowledge production and are thus an exemplary topic to study innovation processes in the interaction of science, economy and society. PROKNOW proposes a European-wide comparison of research institutions in seven countries, including the three biggest research systems, Germany, France and the UK, the highly innovative systems of the Netherlands, Switzerland and Finland, and the associated candidate country Bulgaria. Institutionally PROKNOW analyses different forms of public sector research institutions, for example university and extra-university institutions. In terms of economic sectors, the project focuses on life sciences, information sciences and nanotechnology. Thus, PROKNOW allows for developing the institutional and organisational conditions for a profitable interaction between public research institutions and academic spinoffs.

Main content
Cooperation Partners
Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH

Reichpietschufer 50
10785 Berlin, Germany

Represented by
Heinrich Baßler, Managing Director,
Frank Ottens, Counselor

Prof. Andreas Knie
Dr. Dagmar Simon
Jörg Potthast
Anke Borcherding
University of Twente

Drienerlolaan 5,
7522 NB Enschede, Netherlands

Represented by
Paul J. J. M. van Loon, Dean,
Jacqueline Weppelman-ter Meulen, Controller

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Enders
Dr. B. W. A. Jongbloed, Research Assistant
Fondation nationale des sciences politiques

Rue Saint Guillaume 27,
75007 Paris, France

Represented by
Richard Descoings, Administrator,
Yves Richard, Financial Director

Prof. Michel Quéré
Institute of Sociology – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Street 13 A.,
Sofia 1000, Bulgaria

Represented by
Velina Topalova, Director,
Ilona Tomova, Deputy Director

Dr. Ivan Tchalakov
Mimi Ivanova Vassileva, Research Assistant
The University of Sussex acting through SPRU –
Science and Technology Policy Research

Brighton BN1 9RH, United Kingdom

Represented by
Mr. Peter G. Brooks, Director, Research and Regional Development Division
Rossana Dowsett, Head of Pre-Award Administration

Dr. Martin Meyer
Dr. Pablo D’Este, Research Officer
Eidgenössische Anstalt für Wasserversorgung, Abwasserreinigung und Gewässerschutz

Überlandstrasse 133,
Dübendorf 8600, Switzerland

Represented by Ulrich Bundi

Dr. Bernhard Truffer
Dr. Kornelia Konrad
Valtion Teknillinen Tutkimuskeskus

Vuorimiehentie 5,
Espoo, 1000,
02044 VTT, Finland

Represented by
Torsti Loikkanen, Research Manager,
Annele Eerola, Senior Researcher

Dr. Pirjo Kutinlahti
Juha Oksanen, Researcher

PROKNOW Final Conference

Entrepreneurialism as myth and ceremony?
Academic spin-offs, parent institutes, and new opportunities for science policy

21 January 2009, 9:00 to 13:00
at the University Foundation, rue d'Egmont 11 in Brussels, Belgium

The conference addresses both policymakers and researchers in the fields of Higher Education Studies and Science and Technology Studies. To ensure a lively debate, a number of fellow researchers and experts have been invited as speakers and discussants. This, it is hoped, will sharpen the focus of the PROKNOW approach and provide inputs for a further discussion on how this perspective can be fruitfully integrated into policymaking.

Selected Publications