3 years ago

The emergence of entrepreneurial ideas at universities in times of demographic change: evidence from Germany

Matthias Piontek, Michael Wyrwich


The recent demographic trends in Western Europe imply tremendous structural change and are likely to heavily impact regional development. Against this background, we focus on entrepreneurial activities at universities and analyze regional and university specific determinants of the emergence of university entrepreneurship across regions that are differently challenged by demographic change. We underpin this quantitative assessment with interviews conducted in six case study regions with university staff responsible for technology transfer and the promotion of entrepreneurship to get some tentative insights about the perception of how demographic change might impact the entrepreneurial potential of universities. The results demonstrate that regional population decline is negatively related to entrepreneurial activities at universities. Furthermore, even university start-ups whose business idea is driven by detecting market opportunities related to demographic change are not more likely to emerge in regions that are especially challenged by demographic change. Finally, our interviews suggested that demographic change seems to play no role in the day-to-day work of technology transfer offices.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10037-016-0111-6

DOI: 10.1007/s10037-016-0111-6

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