Institutional changes and the commercialization of academic knowledge: A study of Italian universities' patenting activities between 1965 and 2002

Nicola Baldini, Rosa Grimaldi, Maurizio Sobrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper focuses on Italian universities' patenting activities between 1965 and 2002 and on the way they were affected by internal IPR regulations, set as part of broader responses to the increased level of autonomy granted to universities during the 1990s. Our analyses are based on a unique dataset including detailed information on all patents filed by Italian universities and university-level characteristics. Results show that: (1) in the last 10 years, the number of Italian university patents rose substantially; (2) patenting activities almost tripled in universities with an internal IPR regulation, after controlling for several universities' characteristics, previous patenting activity and time trends; (3) each time a university creates its own patent regulation, there is a 9% increase in the likelihood that universities without any internal patent regulation will adopt one. Implications for university technology transfer policies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-532
Number of pages15
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2006



  • Organizational change
  • Patents
  • Regulations
  • Technology transfer
  • University

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Economics and Econometrics

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