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UNIVERSITY INCUBATORS THE EXPERIENCES IN FRANCE usine

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					UNIVERSITY INCUBATORS:
THE EXPERIENCES IN FRANCE



  Jean-Jacques Obrecht, professor emeritus
   Robert Schuman University, Strasbourg
          University incubators:
     another « exception française » ?

  A public system including 31 incubators

Their common rationale is to exploit the potential
   results emanating from public institutions
     pursuing scientific & technical research
             by means of founding
         new innovative businesses
UNIVERSITY INCUBATORS:
THE EXPERIENCES IN FRANCE


   1. The institutional setting of the
    French public system of incubators

   2. The position of the French
    universities within the public system
    of incubators
1. The institutional setting of the
French public system of
incubators
  a positive and logical step from the
   perspective of capitalising on the
   knowledge developed by the
   universities & other public institutions
  structures providing supportive
   measures designed to change ideas
   into projects of business formation

        5 characteristics
1.1 Provider of a variety of incubating
   services proximate to scientific sites
  detection and evaluation of projects for new firm
   starts within establishments for higher education
   or government research establishments
  hosting and logistic back up of the individuals
   initiating the projects for new firm starts and of
   the newly created firms
  coaching and mentoring during project
   elaboration, in particular in the organisational and
   legal fields, in manufacturing and marketing and
   for the recruitment of the management team
  informing and networking with the appropriate
   stakeholders in view of the creation and funding
   of the new firms
    1.2 An incentive scheme founded on
       state subsidies: 24,6 M € (1) + 22,8 M € (2)
    incubators (1) are allowed state subsidies for a 3
     years period; grants may cover at most 50% of the
     internal and external expenses involved by the
     support given to the incubated project:
     • personnel & equipment costs charged to the research &
       development activities of the incubated firm
     • costs incurred by technical, industrial or commercial
       feasibility analysis; service and consulting costs, in
       particular those related to the protection of I.P.R.
     • overhead and operating costs of the incubator directly
       involved by the support given to the projects.
    newly created firms (2) accede to seed capital
     funds endowed by state subsidies:10 seed capital funds
    in addition: subsidies from smaller administrative
     units of local government
    1.3 A loosely coupled system of
        management allowing for flexibility
   The regulation of the system requires the
    intervening of three different stakeholders
    operating at differentiated levels
     • At the bottom level, the 31 incubators are committed to
       meet 865 business creation projects over the contractual
       period of 3 years. Each incubator includes operative
       management arrangements: selection committee, steering
       committee & management team.
     • At the medium level, the Contracting Committee for Seed
       Capital Funds and Incubators
     • At the top level, the Department of Technology
   The self-governing aspect of the system’s
    functioning concerns the management of the group
    of incubators as a network by the action of its own
    members within “France Incubation” association
1.4 A country wide diversified
    range of incubators

   distributed all over the country with a variable
    density: one incubator at least per region except in
    those regions where the potential for higher education and
    research is very high
   diversified with multisector activities except
    2 incubators exclusively dedicated to biotechnology and
    1 incubator to educational multimedia
   distribution of projects by main sectors:
    •   biotechnological sector: 37% that is 163 projects
    •   NICT sector: 29% that is 128 projects
    •   engineering technologies: 27% that is 120 projects
    •   “soft sectors”: 7% that is 29 projects
1.5 An open system with various links
   NATIONAL COMPETITION           PUBLIC SUPPORT
    SUPPORTING INNOVATIVE           POLICY SCHEMES FOR
    BUSINESS START-UPS:             REGIONAL
   state subsidised:               DEVELOPMENT:
    30,5 M € / year                lead by the ministry
   emerging projects:               of research:
    awards up to 45.000 EUR         • research and
                                      technological innovation
                                      networks
   creation-development            • technological transfers
    projects:                         designed for SMEs
    awards up to 450.000 EUR
   special awards:                lead by local bodies:
    for 3 most most promising       • seed capital
    projects                        • incubators
    for 2 best projects             • nurseries
    • by a doctoral student         • regional competitions for
    • by a young graduate             business start-ups
2. The position of the French
universities within the public
system of incubators
   position depending on the historical
    process of the incubators' gestation, the
    personality of the founders and on
    contextual factors
   legal status of the incubators likely to
    change in the near future


              3 points of view
2.1 Involvement of universities in
    incubators' management
   Incubators’ dependency highest when
    operated as a department of university:
    • main task is to build an appropriate know-how
      in producing spin-off entrepreneurs through the
      process of incubating
    • temporary form of relationship with universities
   Incubators’ autonomy highest when legal
    form is that of a company:
    • only a very few cases at the outset
    • universities in position of shareholders like
      others
   Question at stake: shift from non-profit
    organisations to profitable organisms
2.2 Contribution of universities to
    the process of incubation
   Organisation of curricula to meet the specific
    needs of the potential entrepreneurs who are
    nurturing their projects in an incubator
    • breadth of knowledge of the potential entrepreneur is
      the crucial question i.e. degree of exposure to non-
      technical issues
    • universities to provide the missing parts of knowledge
      i.e. curricula in management training made to order
   Pursuit of expertise-based hand in hand working,
    another reasonable way for universities to put
    knowledge at the disposal of incubators
    • light structure of incubators’ management teams, in
      spite of positive aspects, is questionable
    • universities to back up by specific expertise of many
      kinds i.e. incubators personnel could team-up with
      others offering complementary skills
2.3 Universities’ stake in
    development issues
   Universities are poles of attraction as they play a
    multifaceted role within their local economy and
    therefore important partners for local bodies.
   Universities are potentially the biggest breeding-
    ground of potential entrepreneurs:
     • effectiveness of present system of incubators :
      440 projects accepted for incubation i.e. 52%of total
      number of projects to be incubated over 3 years (850)
      164 firms founded i.e. 37% of incubated projects
              (figures under date of October 2001)
    • further stage of academic entrepreneurship
        • enhancing levels of entrepreneurial behaviour
          among academic researchers in science & technology
        • developing entrepreneurial spirit within the
          university community as a whole
It’s finally the question of how
you consider entrepreneurship
    a central piece of       a set of human
     market mechanisms         values interacting
     and of competitive        with the dynamics of
     drive in the              society as a whole
     economic arena            and its culture in
                               particular

      Relevant entrepreneurial capacities to be
          educated depend on these views

Universities can’t be outsiders

				
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posted:12/9/2012
language:Latin
pages:14