Encouraging entrepreneurship by graduate students: The role of proactive policies

Motivated by the need to rethink the studies and the policies on academic entrepreneurship (Wright and Siegel, 2015), this project intends to assess the impact of scouting activities promoted by University Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) on the engagement of graduate students (including doctoral and master students) in an array of activities linked to entrepreneurship and commercialisation. Master and PhD Students of the University of Bologna will be randomly assigned into two groups: a group receiving direct (face-to-face) scouting visits and advise on commercialisation by the university TTO staff; a control group not receiving any kind of treatment. The Randomised Controlled Trial will assess the impact of receiving proactive and direct support on entrepreneurial intentions and behaviors, and subsequent actual involvement in entrepreneurship-related activities, such as participation in acceleration programs, disclosure of new inventions, patenting activity and spinoff formation.