Exploring the Role of U.K. Government Policy in Developing the University Entrepreneurial Finance Ecosystem for Cleantech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Downloads (Pure)


Vast sums of public money are invested into universities globally as anchor institutions and knowledge bases providing seedbed resources for research and development and entrepreneurship. Focusing on university science and technology research we examine two U.K. case studies of government support from the “Innovation Knowledge Centre” (IKC) program to translate research
into industry innovation for public good. Although IKCs are not tasked to address climate change, the two case studies demonstrate tremendous potential for Cleantech development. An exploratory
entrepreneurial finance (“entfin”) ecosystem theoretical lens contextualizes the catalytic roles of universities and public funding to support industry at the base of the innovation finance escalator. We thus develop university-industry ecosystems literature, addressing the gap in nurturing university entfin for climate change. Our qualitative case study methodology includes literature review and 51 key informant interviews with: policymakers; university research leaders, technology transfer officers, specialist research to industry innovation “translation” staff, SME beneficiaries, trade bodies;and early-stage private finance providers. We reveal nuances in different emerging innovation sectors—notably their degree of maturity, locality, and outcome horizons for achieving impact, drawing attention to the key roles of universities and financing and their interactions within their entfin ecosystems. We demonstrate the need for government long horizon, deep pocket, investment, and integrated university entfin policy mix, alongside more open,inclusive, ecosystem development between different actors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Early online date11 Mar 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Mar 2022


  • Cleantech
  • entrepreneurial finance ecosystem
  • Innovation
  • Policy evaluation
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Universities

Cite this