The European Paradox between science and market: towards an institutional analysis - According to the "European Paradox" conjecture, although Eu countries have a top-level scientific output, they can’t convert this strength into practical applications. Indeed, comparing the number of patents stemming from academic researches in Italy, France, Sweden and the Us, the author criticises the validity of the paradox. In fact, according to data, technology transfer seems to occur also in Europe, but the ownership of academic patents is seldom held by universities. After a brief review of the economical and sociological literature about nature and production of knowledge, the author analyses the role of institutions in explaining such differences, outlining two different models of technology transfer: the European and the American one. The first model seems to derive from centralisation and bureaucratisation of the university system, where academics are civil servants, while the second one seems to derive from decentralisation and autonomy of the single universities, where academics are employees engaged not only in teaching and research but also in the solution of practical problems. The author points out that sociological investigation can explain the differences in technology transfer patterns through institutions with policy implications at both national and local level.
Key words: European Paradox, technology transfer, patents, university, institutions, knowledge