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Inside the Ivory Tower: Inventors and Patents at Lund University
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The purpose of this thesis is to identify patents invented by researchers at Lund University, to describe the university inventors, and to understand the main factors that influence their patenting activities. The analysis focuses on inventors in relation to their environment. A number of factors influence scientists’ decisions to patent. Internal factors related to individuals such as solving the research puzzle, demonstrating the quality and novelty of the research, and enhancing professional reputation are the main internal factors that trigger researchers to patent. Although external factors such as TTOs and the Third Task are relatively more important for some inventors, internal factors are still the predominant factors. The thesis has also suggested a typology of inventors to show the differences in the level of patenting and in the way they applied for patent and commercialized. This nuanced heterogeneity among inventors emphasizes the need for caution in generalizations, especially regarding the roles and influences of patent legislation and TTOs in university patenting. Adaptive and flexible institutions and organizations may enable scientists to patent by providing them with the necessary resources and skills they may need for patenting rather than applying standard solutions to different cases. This study has made empirical and theoretical contributions to the literature by developing a focus on individual inventors and by emphasizing the characteristics of these inventors and of their external environments. Hence, this dissertation may provide both theoretical insights and empirical evidence to scholars investigating university patenting and inventors. It may also provide insights to policy makers and university administrators on the appropriate roles of institutions and organizations in promoting and assisting patenting activities of university researchers.