The Power of Money: Commercialisation of Research Conducted in Public Institutions

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Commercialisation, Public Institutions, Research, Intellectual Property


Against a backdrop of increased costs and decreased support for universities (particularly for basic research) from government and other traditional non-commercial sources, as well as a transition to "knowledge-based" economies, we are witnessing remarkable commercialisation of research in public institutions around the world.

In this paper, I offer some critical reflection on this phenomenon. That is, I first describe the phenomenon (drawing on data from New Zealand and Australia) and then enumerate the potential effects of it. I conclude that there is much that we simply do not know about the impact of commercialisation. Much greater caution is therefore warranted on the part of the public institutions currently embracing this phenomenon with enthusiasm.