From laboratory to clinic: science commercialization within university-centered entrepreneurial ecosystems



Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

R and D Management




The commercialization of scientific discoveries within the university-industry nexus is multifaceted and complex, characterized by dynamic interactions between multiple agents, organizations, and institutions. These interactions support a university-centered entrepreneurial ecosystem (UCEE). Our study investigates agent-institution dynamics within the UCEE to explore how individual agents seek to commercialize their scientific discoveries. Specifically, relying on 47 narrative interviews, we explore how UCEE agents across three UCEEs in the United States, United Kingdom, and Russia respond and adapt to institutional commercialization mandates during commercialization of their stem cell-based regenerative medicine discoveries. Our findings emphasize the bi-directional relationship between individual agents and institutions within a UCEE, facilitating a much-needed multi-level perspective on academic entrepreneurship research. We extend recent frameworks that propose how the formative stages of the entrepreneurial process – opportunity evolution – influences ecosystem emergence. Specifically, by investigating the latter stages of the entrepreneurial process – how (science-based) opportunities are commercialized within UCEEs – we reveal distinct behavioral responses to science commercialization mandates, which underscore how UCEEs evolve. Furthermore, by explicating the importance of UCEE agent behavior during science commercialization, our study shines an important spotlight onto the microfoundations of science commercialization and UCEEs. Our research imparts important policy implications for institutions tasked with commercializing scientific discoveries and policy makers challenged with developing high growth, sustainable UCEEs.

Open Access

Green Accepted