Universities and knowledge-based venturing: finance, management and networks in London
R. Huggins. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development20 (2):
This paper examines university and higher education institution (HEI) involvement in regional knowledge commercialization processes, using London as a case study. It analyses the determinants of HEI knowledge commercialization, and the characteristics of HEIs and the sources of financial capital engaged in these commercialization processes. It is found that within London, a region with a high concentration of both HEIs and sources of financial capital, the lack of effective regional networks between HEIs and financial institutions makes the engagement of HEIs in regional knowledge commercialization activity problematic. It is further found that many of the resources associated with successful knowledge commercialization are skewed towards London's larger and more prestigious universities. Subsequently, the involvement of HEIs in London in knowledge-based venturing processes is significantly lower than that expected. This has resulted in the public sector taking a significant role in meeting HEI demand for seed finance. The findings oppose much existing literature, especially relating to regional innovation systems and clusters, which argues that core and strong economic regions usually possess effective and embedded knowledge networks of the kind analysed.