Doctoral candidate: Drew Gertner
Home institution: Newcastle University Business School
Research track: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Start date: December 2009
ABRI sponsor: Prof. dr. Bart Bossink
Science Cities: Understanding the incubation process and its role in the development of spin-offs
Drew’s research aims to analyse the role of the incubation process in the spin-off of firms within third wave science cities which are conceptualised as multi-functional concentrations (when compared to first and second wave science cities). The rationale behind such research is the importance of the incubation process as a necessary support mechanism for the venture creation process. On top of this, spin-offs play a central role in the overall policy objectives of science cities. Regardless of the significance of the above, there is a lack of relevant empirical studies on the incubator spin-off relationship in the management and science city literature.
The research takes a case study approach focusing on the incubation process within Newcastle Science City (NSC) entitled the ‘Newcastle Innovation Machine’ (NIM). NIM represents a distinctive public sector incubation model which focuses on insight-led innovation (or a market pull approach) drawing in ideas and support from the external environment. In order to understand how the incubation process within the context of a science city facilitates the spin-off creation process, NIM will be analysed against two other dissimilar incubation models in the North East region: Newcastle University’s incubation model and Newcastle University’s Careers Service ‘Rise up’ incubation model. Newcastle University’s incubation model (an academic incubator) focuses on a market push model where academic research provides the impetus for a business idea while the Career’s ‘Rise up’ incubation model (Non-profit development corporation incubator) is between a market pull and market push model focusing on the incubation of graduate businesses. This comparison provides a benchmark for NIM against other key incubation models in the incubator continuum and provides a control within the research as all are located within the same region.
Drew’s research is funded by a Newcastle University Business School PhD Studentship, a Newcastle International Postgraduate Scholarship and Newcastle Science City.