In the last decade, European Science and Technology Policy was much concerned with the so-called "European Paradox". While the EU countries performed rather well in terms of scientific output, there was a perceived significant lack in technological performance as revealed by patenting activities, for example. One possible reason was seen in an insufficient transfer of scientific knowledge into new products and processes. Here, the US systems seems to perform significantly better both in terms of spin-off companies commercialising new scientific findings, and new technologies licensed by universities.
There is some doubt, however, whether the amount of commercialisation acitivities by science institutions in Europe is fully captured by statistics, and moreover, how technology transfer from science to industry takes place in the different EU countries. In this project, the overarching objective is to collect a set of indicators that measure the efforts of universities and public research laboratories to commercialise their research results. More specifically, the project focuses on the commercialisation of research via the creation of new independent companies, the so-called spin-offs. By doing this, some new insights in part of this European Paradox may be derived.The project try to shed light on the possible knowledge spillover.

The objectives of this project are threefold:
Objective 1 is to collect information and construct indicators, which (a) reflect the direct commercialisation efforts undertaken by universities and public research laboratories. More specifically, we will restrict ourselves here to the commercialisation of research through the creation of spin-offs. (b) collect indicators regarding the resources and performance of research based spin-offs.
Objective 2 is to perform detailed country specific analysis, which adds qualitative context specific elements to the quantitative indicators. The country specific analyses should give us a better insight in the context dependency of certain indicators, which in turn has important implications for the comparative analysis.
Objective 3 is to make a cross-country comparative analysis of the project using the country specific contributions as a main input. The country specific contributions will be used specifically to analyze the context dependency of certain indicators. The comparative analysis consists of a comparative study between the countries covered in the project and will be presented at a final conference to a wider audience of academics and policy makers.

At this point in-depth expert interviews with selected research institutions and more than thirty high-tech spin-off corporations throughout Germany have been conducted. Hence, the foundation has been laid for all subsequent layers of analysis.