The debate on the entrepreneurial university has raised questions about what motivates academics to engage with industry as well as what forms these knowledge transfer activities can take. This paper analyses the relationship between different forms of motivations, namely mission (following the entrepreneurial mission of the university), learning (access to wider knowledge base for research enhancement) and funding (obtaining financial resources), and the depth and breadth of knowledge transfer activities, measured by the combination of various formal and informal activities and the frequency of interactions. The study is focused on the case of Italian academics but it covers all disciplines. We find that the learning motivation appears to be less important in Italy while mission and funding prevail, probably due to the peculiarities of the Italian industrial system and to the necessity for Italian academics to look for external funding sources for their research.
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