The commercialization of university-based research occurs to varying degrees between academic institutions. Previous studies have found that multiple barriers can impede the effectiveness and efficiency by which academic research is commercialized. This case study was designed to better understand the impediments to research commercialization at the University of Kentucky via a survey and interview with three successful academic entrepreneurs. The study also garnered insight from the individuals as to how the commercialization process could be improved. Issues with commercialization infrastructure; a lack of emphasis, at the university level, on the importance of research commercialization; a void in an entrepreneurial culture on campus; inhibitory commercialization policies; and a lack of business and commercialization knowledge among faculty were highlighted as the most significant barriers. The research subjects also suggested that commercialization activity may generally increase if a number of factors were mitigated. Such insight can be communicated to the administrative leadership of the commercialization process at the University of Kentucky. Long term, improving university-based research commercialization will allow academic researchers to be more active and successful entrepreneurs such that intellectual property will progress more freely to the marketplace for the benefit of inventors, universities and society.

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Published in F1000Research, v. 4, article 133, p. 1-18.

© 2015 Vanderford NL and Marcinkowski E.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Data associated with the article are available under the terms of the Creative Commons Zero "No rights reserved" data waiver (CC0 1.0 Public domain dedication).

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This is version 2 of this article. Version 1 is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.6487.1

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Supplementary materials 1: Research Commercialization Survey

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