Target Objects and Authority Relationships as Complementary Explanations of (Non)Science Commercialization

Inma Aleixos
University of Stuttgart
Thursday, 2 November 2023 - 12:00

This is very early stage work, which will benefit from an open and constructive exchange of ideas and discussions with the INGENIO community and network. The idea is part of a work-in-progress study on science (non) commercialization (SC). We aim to explain why SC or other ways of knowledge/technology transfer happen more often in some disciplines than in others. The differentiation between basic and applied research or use-inspired basic research (Stoke, 1997) does not fully explain science non-commercialization and commercialization, respectively, within or across disciplines. Drawing inductively upon two case studies, we suggest that, to explain why SC happens or does not happen, we need to consider, among other things, structural and authority relationships that may or may not be contingent on the social structure of scientific fields (Colyvas & Powell, 2007; Whitley, 2000, 2010), and what we call “target objects” (TOs). TOs are twofold objects. They are constituted by, on the one hand, (non)material epistemic outputs and, on the other hand, the recipient objects or subjects upon which the (non)material epistemic outputs aim to be applied. Furthermore, we should consider that TOs are embedded in a social, political, and economic context that may also condition SC.


Ciudad Politécnica de la Innovación
Edificio 8E, Acceso J, Planta 4ª (Sala Descubre. Cubo Rojo)
Universidad Politécnica de Valencia | Camino de Vera s/n



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Short CV: 

Inma Aleixos-Borrás (MA University of Michigan, PhD Universitat Politècnica de València) is a Fulbright Fellow (University of Michigan, 2012-2014), Erasmus Mundus Fellow (University of Ottawa, 2016-2017), and a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow (2022-2024) at the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Science of the University of Stuttgart. She conducts an in-depth examination of researchers' conduct, actions, and decision-making processes, while taking into account a multifaceted array of contextual, institutional, organizational, and personal factors that can exert influence upon researchers’ decisions.

In her project “Ungendered Values” funded by the European Commission (HORIZON-MSCA-2021-PF-01-01 #101059248), she aims to explore the value-laden motivations that propel researchers to either embark on or abstain from commercializing scientific innovations through start-up ventures or spin-offs in the German academic landscape. Preliminary findings reveal that both men and women researchers are propelled by motivations rooted in their values, but their self-realization and self-governance are the dominant driving forces.

In her prior research, she has undertaken a comprehensive analysis of researchers' decisions regarding data reuse within the domains of molecular and computational biology as well as (clinical) epidemiology. To elucidate the phenomenon of data reuse, she has theorized the "data-reuse mechanism" based on teleological decision-making theories, guided by a heuristic model, the "bounded individual horizon," which outlines the behavioral patterns of scientific actors. Furthermore, in collaboration with her co-author José J. López, she has argued that the concept of "data fitting," as opposed to "data fitness," encapsulates more accurately the dynamic, interactive, and inherently subjective nature of the process involved in reusing secondary data for the generation of (new) knowledge