Center for Research on Innovation & Entrepreneurship awards grants

The Center for Research on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CRIE) has awarded eight research grants to faculty members.

The awards support a variety of individual research projects focusing on some aspect of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Funding for these grants was made possible by a three-year research grant by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to supplement the five-year, $3 million grant awarded to the University as a part of the Kauffman Collegiate Campus Initiative, which seeks to promote a more entrepreneurial culture on U.S. university campuses.

The University’s Kauffman Research Subcommittee, chaired by Robert E. Thach, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, evaluated 15 proposals and granted an initial year of funding for eight. Some of the funding may extend to three years, subject to an annual review of the research’s progress.

“The eight projects were chosen because of the significance of the research and the overall research project plan,” said Charles R. McManis, J.D., CRIE director and the Thomas and Karole Green Professor of Law.

“These research projects also have a strong tie to the interests of the Kauffman Foundation: innovation and productivity in organizations; technology transfer among science, law and business; how entrepreneurs learn; women and minorities as entrepreneurs; and economic development and how entrepreneurship impacts growth, wealth and humankind.”

The recipients of CRIE’s research funding and the focus of their research projects are:

• Gary H. Brandenburger, director of entrepreneurial programs in the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, will survey leading universities to determine the effects of their intellectual property policies on senior design courses, and then may survey graduates and employers to infer outcomes of the various intellectual property policies and course content. His research project is titled “The Effects of Intellectual Property Policy on Engineering Design and Experiential Learning Courses.”

• Steven M. Fazzari, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Economics in Arts & Sciences, and Bruce Petersen, Ph.D., professor of economics, will explore the interrelationship of the research and development and equity financing booms over the past 20 years and develop a model, along with empirical support, of endogenous changes in economic growth cause by fluctuations in the availability of finance. Their research project is titled “Endogenous Technological Change, Economic Growth and Financing Constraints.”

• Barton H. Hamilton, Ph.D., the Robert Brookings Smith Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Olin School of Business, will investigate the determinants of angel investing behavior by examining whether the trends observed in the formal venture capital market during the 1990s are also found in the informal angel investment market. Hamilton’s research project is titled “Angel Investing and the Equity Gap.”

• Mark J. Jakiela, Ph.D., the Lee Hunter Professor of Mechanical Design in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, will examine how to facilitate end-user disclosure of ideas for improvement of products or production of aftermarket products. His research project is titled “Users and Product Developers: A Model for Communal Innovation & Entrepreneurship.”

• Chris P. Long, Ph.D., assistant professor of organizational behavior, and Judi McLean Parks, Ph.D., the Reuben C. and Anne Carpenter Taylor Professor of Organizational Behavior, both in the Olin School, will examine the actions managers take to promote an appropriate control-trust-fairness balance in ways that foster innovation and entrepreneurship. The title of their research project is “Cultivating and Combining Innovation’s Essential Ingredients: The Development and Integration of Control, Trust and Fairness in Entrepreneurial Contexts.”

• McManis will utilize the experience of the law school’s new Intellectual Property & Business Formation Legal Clinic, funded by the Kauffman Collegiate Campus Initiative, to examine how early stage access to affordable legal services (and the lack thereof) affects the innovative process. His research project is titled “A Pilot Project to Collect Data and Design an Empirical Study on the Impact of Early Stage Access to Affordable Intellectual Property and Business Formation Legal Services on the Innovative Process.”

• Amit I. Pazgal, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing at the Olin School, will study the impact of entrepreneurs’ decision-making on potential exit strategies by creating a comprehensive and unique data set encompassing financing details for virtually all Israeli technology startup firms.

• Gautam N. Yadama, Ph.D., associate professor in the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, will examine how citizens in small Chinese villages innovate and become entrepreneurial in securing essential social services. Yadama will compare data from two Chinese provinces, one relatively prosperous on the coast of China, and the other a less prosperous province in southwestern China. The research project is titled “Entrepreneurial Approaches to Providing Public Goods: An Examination of Social Innovation in China.”

CRIE staff members expect to issue another request for research proposals in September.

For more information, e-mail McManis at