University autonomy, IP legislation and academic patenting: Italy, 1996-2006 Francesco Lissoni1,2, Michele Pezzoni2, Bianca Potì3, Sandra Romagnosi4 1 GREThA – Université Bordeaux IV - France – Università "L. Bocconi", Milan - Italy 3 CERIS-CNR, Rome - Italy 4 Parco ScientificoUniversità "Tor Vergata", Rome - Italy 2 KITeS To be presented at the APE-INV workshop “Scientists & Inventors” KU Leuven, 10-11 May 2012 Motivation Contribute to recent literature on academic patenting in Italy (Europe) by: 1. Assessing trends in academic patenting: • Weight of academic patenting on total domestic patenting • Universities’ share of IP over academic inventions (vs individuals’, PROs’, and business companies’ share) 2. Exploring links between (1) and two policy changes: • The granting of autonomy to universities (incl. financial autonomy), in 1989 (effective kick-off: 1995) • The introduction of the professor privilege, in 2001 Reasons for focusing on universities’ autonomy • Policy: widespread diffusion of autonomy-granting/enhancing reforms (e.g. Italy, 1989-96; “loi Pecresse” in France, 2007); large universities’ quest for more autonomy (e.g. EUA’s report, 2009) • Scholarly research - in sociology: “entrepreneurial university” (Clark, 1993); in economics: autonomy&competition perfomance link (Aghion et al., 2009) NB1: Lots on emphasis on “third mission” NB2: Financial autonomy has gone hand in hand decrease of “block grant” funding project funding & technology transfer as additional sources of revenues NB3: Autonomy in recruitment changes the academic profession (from civil servants to university employees) Reasons for focusing on the professor privilege • Policy: 1. wave of abolitions in German-speaking and Scandinavian countries since 2000 inefficient legal institution, standing in the way of commercialization of academic research results 2. BUT Italy has introduced it in 2001 incentive-setting justification • Scholarly research – some recent advocacy for the privilege (Kenney, 2009) Outline • Methodology for data collection • Academic patenting trends & distribution • University autonomy in Italy: a quick look • The professor privilege in Italy: an even quicker look • Econometric STEP1: probability of an Italian patent to be academic, 1996-2006 • Econometric STEP2: probability of Italian academic patent to be owned by the inventor’s university (or the inventor himself) Methodology for data collection 1. Name disambiguation of inventors (EPO patent applications, 1978-onward) see previous APE-INV “NameGame” workshops 2. Professor-inventor name matching: 3 professors’ cohorts (from ministerial lists) inventors 1996-2006 [academic patent = patent with at least 1 academic scientists among inventors] 3. Filtering of false matches by: (i) automatic criteria (ii) past surveys (iii) ongoing survey Academic patenting trends & distribution • Upper vs lower bound estimates (unfiltered vs filtered) • Upper estimates suggest upward trend in academic patenting (nr and share of domestic patenting) • Both estimates suggest increasing IP control by universities, albeit with very different values • Distribution by tech class of both academic patents and their ownership in line with previous research • Moderately decreasing concentration of academic patents, by university (high level? C4 25%) • Role of size and demand (by industry or PRO): most academic inventors are in large universities or universities in Northern Italy and Lazio (main exception: Catania STMicroelectronics) • No clear university pattern emerges for ownernship Table 1 – Number of academic patents, 1996-2006; upper & lower bound estimates Table 2 – Share of academic patents over all patents by domestic inventors, 1996-2006; upper & lower bound estimates (% values) Table 3 – Ownership distribution of academic patents, 1996-2006; upper bound estimates (% values) Table 4 – Ownership distribution of academic patents, 1996-2006; lower bound estimates (% values) Table 6 – Share of academic patents over all patents by domestic inventors, 1996-2006 – by technical field; upper bound estimates (% values) Table 7– Share of university-owned academic patents, 1996-2006 – by technical field; upper bound estimates (% values) University autonomy: features • L.168/1989: basic principles and creation of Ministry of University and Research plus reporting duties ( CNSVU) • Several laws/decrees from 1990 to 1996: autonomy with respect to governance, educational offer, recruitment, and financial management. • Financial autonomy 1. Universities receive block grants to be administered within some limits set by the State (instead of getting earmarked funds for expenses and having staff directly paid by the State) 2. Key block grant: FFO ("Fondo di Finanziamento Ordinario"): starts at 90% of all revenues set to decline automatically over time (algorithms tied to students' enrollment and graduation speed/success) 3. Universities are free to collect other revenues great heterogeneity: (capped) student fees, contract research, commercialization (IP and start-ups), local authorities' support… 4. No systematic tie with university-industry technology transfer policy University autonomy: yearly data /1 Systematic decline of both FFO_RATIO and SCIENCE_RATIO… … BUT temporary increase of public R&D (relative to GDP and to private R&D) FFO_RATIO decline is relatively homogeneous by university (and region), but levels exhibit cross-regional variation FFO_RATIO bears little relationship with regional R&D intensity (size and history matters more for FFO; heterogeneity of non-FFO revenues) Others: Absolute & relative increase of public R&D BUT little cross-regional variation Weight of block funds (FFO) and public funds for scientific reserach on Italian Universities’ totale revenues (source: AQUAMETH DB and CNSVU survey) R&D shares of firms, universities, and PROs: trends 1991-2008 – National level (source: ISTAT) - Decline of FFO_RATIO is common to all regions - Regions differ as for levels own elaboration on AQUAMETH DB and CNSVU survey - Decline of SCIENCE_RATIO is less evenly distributed - No clear regional pattern own elaboration on AQUAMETH DB and CNSVU survey FFO_RATIO bears little relationship with regional R&D intensity (size and histo University autonomy: yearly data /2 (Epidemic) diffusion of IP regulations (IP_STATUTE) and TTOs at the university-level Little correlation between the two diffusion processes (regional data) Some correlation between IP_STATUTE and TTO diffusion and R&D intensity at regional , especially in central years (1999-2002) FFO_RATIO bears little relationship with regional R&D intensity (size and history matters more for FFO; heterogeneity of non-FFO revenues) Others: Absolute & relative increase of public R&D BUT little cross-regional variation Diffusion of IPR statutes and TechTransfer Offices in Italian Universities (sources: own elaboration on NETVAL survey; CNSVU survey) The professor privilege • Introduced in 2001 • Unsolicited, indeed resisted by universities (unsuccessfully at legal level; possibly successfully at IP regulation level) • Reformed in 2005 (abolished for research co-sponsored by industry) REGRESSION “STEP1”: probability of an Italian patent to be academic, 1996-2006 Key expected results: - positive impact (correlation with?) IP_STATUTE and/or TTO - negative impact of FFO_RATIO (to the extent that non-FFO revenues come from tech transfer) - no trend left after controlling for all relevant factors ( no impact of professor privilege) Others: - Differences by technological classes and science intensity of the patent (citations to NPL) - Positive impact of RD/GDP (demand factor) - Psitive impact of RD_SHARE_PAUNI REGRESSION “STEP2-university”: probability of Italian academic patent to be owned by the inventor’s university Key expected results: - Positive impact of IP_STATUTE - Differences by technological classes and science intensity of the patent (citations to NPL) - no trend left after controlling for all relevant factors ( no impact of professor privilege) Others: - Positive impact of RD_SHARE_PAUNI (“unsold” IP or research potential) Conclusions • When looking at IP_STATUTEs: autonomy looks like having had expected impact on academic scientists’ propensity to engage in patenting and in universities’ propensity to retain related IP • When looking at FFO_RATIO: autonomy seems to have had confused effects better data would be necessary to distinguish btw non-FFO resources • Professor privilege has been largely irrelevant, but for “spike” in individual ownership right after its introduction • University-owned patents may also hide “unsold” IP or IP resulting from research run with no connection to industrial R&D in line with evidence on modest value of Italian university-owned academic patents Further research • Complete the filtering survey ( convergence of upper/lower bound estimates) • Extend data to 2009 (PatStat 2011 edition) • Check for reverse causality of IP_STATUTE in STEP1 regression • Use lagged variables!!! • Check for IP ownership changes • Is it worth extending research to patent value (citation-measured)?