EU ATTRACT innovation ecosystems

In this project we investigate whether and how do entrepreneurial mindsets, diversity in research teams and open innovation processes contribute to the commercialization success of breakthrough technologies?


  • Lead school Business School
  • Institute Institute for Applied Data Science & Finance
  • Research unit Applied Data Science
  • Funding organisation Europäische Union
  • Duration (planned) 01.05.2022 - 31.08.2024
  • Project management Prof. Dr. Christian Hopp
  • Head of project Prof. Dr. Christian Hopp
  • Project staff Prof. Dr. Gernot Pruschak
  • Partner CERN-European Organization for Nuclear Research
    Delft University of Technology
  • Keywords ATTRACT, Open Innovation, Diversity, Entrepreneurial Mindset, Technology Commercialization


Policy makers have increasingly asked academics and universities to add the third mission, i.e. commercial applications of their research, to their traditional missions of research and teaching (European Commission, 2012; Martin, 2012). Yet not all research institutions have been able to realize the potential that (academic) research provides for commercialization and spin-offs, i.e. to successfully integrate research and commerce on a larger scale that leads to academic publications as well as application-oriented new technologies based on these very research ideas (Etzkowitz & Viale, 2010; Philpott et al., 2011). This especially holds true for Europe, where academic entrepreneurship emerged substantially later than in the United States (Franzoni & Lissoni, 2006) and number and volume of university spin-offs has historically lacked behind (Saetr et al., 2009). This project therefore aims to investigate how scientists turn (or could turn) into technology-oriented entrepreneurs that aim to commercialize their research ideas (on their own or in collaboration with industry partners) and whether diversity in terms of gender, geography and research background combined with open innovation ecosystems can boost those industry applications. In analyzing this phenomenon, we pay particular attention to the potential impediments scientists might encounter during the research and commercialization processes.

Course of action

▪ Literature review ▪ Qualitative Interviews ▪ Questionnaire design ▪ Summarization of contact data of relevant scientists for data collection ▪ Sending survey to research teams ▪ Participation in the kick-off workshop ▪ Systematic combination of empirical evaluation and translation into practical implications ▪ Derivation of implementation concepts and management presentations Innovative event formats with relevant experts and stakeholders ▪ Interactive workshop with stakeholders ▪ Success survey among liaisons ▪ A joint workshop with relevant representatives of universities, research institutions, chairs policy makers ▪ Presentation of final results at the final workshop

Looking ahead

Our research will especially be beneficial to understand how technology-intensive research fields can contribute to an emerging innovation ecosystem through commercialization of technological innovation in general, and academic spin-offs in particular.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 5: Gender equality
  • 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • 10: Reduced inequalities
  • 17: Partnerships for the goals