چرخش سرمایه های انسانی علمی و فن آوری به سرمایه اقتصادی: تجربه استارت آپ زیست فناوری در فرانسه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|18448||2004||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Research Policy, Volume 33, Issue 4, May 2004, Pages 631–642
This paper examines how scientific and technological (S&T) human capital is transformed into financial capital through the creation of firms by scientists. The analysis is based on a database describing the positions held by 132 founders from 62 French biotech SMEs. It shows that star scientists engage in highly risky but also valuable firms. Less famous scientists must develop their human capital rather than valorising a stock. The paper concludes by pointing to three paradoxes concerning the commitment and compensation scheme of star scientists and the managerial position of less known scientists.
The aim of this paper is to analyse how scientists transform their scientific and technological (S&T) human capital into financial capital through the creation of start-up companies. It highlight a paradoxical situation: renown scientists are only partially involved in start-ups as they keep their position in academia. Financial investors base their decision of investments on the involvement of high reputation scientists within the firm but they have to face a high asymmetry of involvement between financial investors and star scientists who invest intangible capital (knowledge, network, etc.). Based on newly created ventures, this paper is not able to analyse the performance of the firms contrary to previous research which studied the linkages between start-ups’ performance and the composition of their founder networks (Baum et al., 2000) or the influence of entrepreneurs’ resources on the life expectancy of the firm (Shane and Stuart, 2002). Both of these sets of research focus on firm performances. Other research focuses on the mechanisms for transferring technology: technological spill over (Cohen et al., 2002) from the public sector research on industrial R&D and the pathways through which the effects are excised (Mowery et al., 2001); impacts of public sector research on firm creation (Autant-Bernard et al., 2002, Colyvas et al., 2002 and Swann et al., 1999). This paper benefits from these results. It focuses on the individual strategies to make money by commercialising science via firm creation. Technology transfer through human capital mobility has been recently investigated. It includes hiring of trained researchers to develop a specific research programme or technology (Almeida and Kogut, 1999) as well as firm creation by scientists (Zucker et al., 1998). S&T human capital is defined as the sum of scientific and technical and social knowledge, skills and resources embodied in a particular individual (Bozeman et al., 2001). Scientists tend to engage in research because they enjoy the challenge. They are also careful about their reputation and sometimes try to valorise their discoveries. Public policies in favour of commercialisation of science (Bayh-Dole act in 1980 in US, Loi Allègre in France in 1999) as well as the emergence of new opportunities based on knowledge-based industries has led to a new wave of firm creation by scientists. Recent years have seen experiments by star scientists (Stephan, 1999 and Zucker and Darby, 1999) as well as those less well known in firm creation (Mangematin et al., 2003). Success stories of star scientists who create fast growing star-up like Greg Venter have been emphasised. Meanwhile, other scientists are creating small firms which remain small. Different pathways to valorise S&T human capital through firm creation seem to exist. Do scientists with different levels of S&T human capital set-up different kinds of firms? Do they occupy different positions within the firm (Chief Executive Officer, scientific advisors, etc.)? Do their positions in the public sector research (tenure, non tenure, diploma and experience) influence the pathway by which they valorise their S&T human capital? Section 2 analyses different ways of technology transfer through human capital mobility, depending on their position within academia, on their level of human capital to be transferred and on their position within the firm after its creation. In Section 3 we examine the cases of 132 founders who created 62 new biotechnological firms (NBF) in France. Human capital is estimated by initial training, position in academia and on-the-job training (experience). Returns on human capital are estimated by the position within the firm. Section 4 discusses the determinants of two individual trajectories according to the renown of the scientists, to their position in academia and to their involvement in firms.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our empirical analysis highlights two contrasting modes of valorisation of human capital: on the one hand, star scientists invest their human capital in high potential growth start-ups. As members of the scientific advisory board, they provide the firm with an extensive scientific network and multiple contacts with industrial partners (Liebeskind et al., 1996). Their reputation enhances the firm’s credibility vis-à-vis venture capitalists (Maurer, 2001). Famous academics involved in start-ups have effective S&T human capital that they transform into financial capital (shareholding of high growth potential firms). By contrast, less famous scientists cannot valorise a stock of S&T human capital but they do have S&T competencies and expertise. They use this potential to generate wages and therefore are mainly involved in managerial responsibilities. The creation of the start-up is based on the transformation of scientific results into innovations, which generate turnover to pay salaries. However, the start-up does not get an exponential potential growth. It has to generate cash flows to finance its development and even its survival. These results reveal three paradoxes of the transformation of S&T human capital into financial capital (1) Commitment paradox: those who have the highest levels of S&T human capital seem to be able to valorise economically their human capital without committing themselves financially—unlike those invest financial capital—or by working within the firm—unlike less renown scientists. As McNamara (2003) notes, agency costs are very high for shareholders in biotechnology firms because they must not only monitor the firm’s managers but also evaluate the relevance of scientific and technical results. The founders’ credibility and scientific reputation play an important part in the creation of trust in a context where knowledge asymmetries seem irreducible. The involvement of the most renowned scientists appears to be “cheap talk” (Meidinger et al., 1999), that is, a commitment based only on the goodwill of the person who makes it. (2) Compensation scheme paradox: Stephan and Levin show that because of the winner-takes-all nature of the scientific race, it is not surprising that financial compensation of university-based scientists is structured in two parts: a guaranteed portion paid regardless of success in research, and a priority-based portion reflecting the value of their contribution to science. The second paradox of the compensation for star scientists is that it corresponds to a valorisation of that which already exists in academia and not to an incentive to achieve scientifically and to create human capital. Our observations strengthen the argument of Stephan and Levin by showing that the winner-takes-all phenomenon applies not only to the scientific domain and that, for a small number of star scientists, it applies also to the financial context. When star scientists participate to the creation of a new venture, they seem to be doing nothing other than valorising a stock of existing human capital. The creation of firms seems to be an activity of specific valorisation enabling them to build permanent bridges between their university and the firm, and thus to “refill the tube” of scientific results. (3) Managerial position of less known scientists: less well-known researchers must simultaneously build up human and financial capital and valorise it. The third paradox is to bring scientists who have mostly technological and scientific competencies in a managerial role for which they may have no training or know how. These scientific involved in the management of start-ups to ensure their salaries through their activity within the firm have to implement their human capital at the same time. This research is being pursued along two research avenues. First, a larger and longitudinal sample of firms and founders will provide stronger results about the difficulty of transforming S&T human capital into financial capital. All 62 firms have survived as in 2002, although two bankruptcies and ten acquisitions have been observed. Information about the value of firms will help us assess the effectiveness of the transformation of S&T human capital into financial capital. The second research avenue is to relate industry life cycle theories with technology transfer mechanisms. Biotechnology is now entering into a maturation phase (Nesta and Mangematin, 2002) with higher barriers to entry, larger minimum critical size and heavier instrumentation. To what extent technology transfer through permanent or temporary human resources mobility will be a major mode of technology transfer in the changing life cycle of the biotech industry?