Abstract

Innovations are considered a job generator, especially in knowledge-driven societies. Since much of the commercially utilizable and therefore highly valuable knowledge is created in institutions of higher education, these institutions make great efforts to establish and incorporate services and infrastructure to facilitate the knowledge transfer to the private sector and thus the commercial exploitation of inventions. Despite these efforts and the statutory reform for facilitating knowledge transfer similar to the Bayh Dole Act in the USA (cf. von Ledebur 2006), it seems that even inventions of great commercial potential still remain unexploited (Cuntz et al. 2012). Previous research shows, that inventions and their commercial exploitation are determined by certain personal as well as environmental influences (cf. Polkowska 2013). In particular the variable gender seems to have an impact on the innovation activity as well as on previous decisions, like occupational preferences, which lead to female underrepresentation in “highly innovative” disciplines (cf. Becker et al. 2011). Our study incorporates personal, occupational, and institutional determinants simultaneously to test innovation activity of academics in a holistic manner.

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