How big-science centres facilitate the creation of new technology-based firms.
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This thesis examines how five intergovernmental big-science organizations facilitate the creation of new technology based firms. The context of intergovernmental research organization is underexplored in the literature when it comes to technology transfer in general, and no studies with the objective of comparing several organizations in this context have been performed prior to this study. The purpose of the thesis is hence to do to develop a better understanding of this context, with regards to facilitation of new ventures. The study uses a multiple case study approach, using semi-structured interviews as the main approach to gathering data. Cross case analysis is performed according to a framework based on the literature review and the research questions. The most important contribution of the study is an overview of five very different technology transfer initiatives, with a focus on how they support new technology based firms. These initiatives were of very different maturity and employed different strategies. The support for creation of new technology based firms, spanned from only giving access to the intellectual property to a full package from the opportunity recognition to associated venture capital. The study has also identified several factors that contribute to the facilitation of new technology based firms, like engaging students in opportunity recognition, employment contracts, internal technology transfer funds and associated incubators. A classification of different types of new technology based firms that are associated with international research centres is developed and suggestions on how to facilitate the creation of the different types are provided. The context of intergovernmental research centres has several possibilities for future research. Firstly, developing a more holistic picture of the technology transfer in general in these organizations as this study only focused on facilitation of new technology based firms. Secondly, expand the scope to include other forms of big-science initiatives like national labs, and thirdly to explore the same research questions from the new companies perspective.