Enclosing the academic commons – Increasing knowledge transfer or eroding academic values?

Sigrid Sterckx

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Academic research is increasingly being commercialised. This commercialisation trend has different dimensions, among which the massive increase of patenting and licensing activities by universities, the significant growth of industry funding of academic research via so-called contract research, and the creation of ever more 'spin-out' companies. All this is strongly encouraged by governments throughout the Western world. The commercialisation trend has far-reaching consequences for access to the fruits of academic research and so the question arises whether the current policies are indeed promoting innovation. This paper discusses the justifications that are given for the current policies and raise the question to what extent they threaten important academic values. Next, the question will be addressed as to why policymakers seem to ignore the adverse effects of the commercialisation of academic research. Finally, a number of proposals for improving policy-making will be made.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDrunk on Capitalism. An Interdisciplinary Reflection on Market Economy, Art and Science
EditorsR. Vanderbeeken, F. Le Roy, C. Stalpaert, D. Aerts
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-007-2082-4
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-2081-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Publication series

NameEinstein Meets Magritte: An Interdisciplinary Reflection on Science, Nature, Art, Human Action and Society


  • patenting
  • universities
  • academic values


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