oa South African Journal of Information Management - From conceptualisation to commercialisation : the Gradnet story : original research

Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2078-1865
  • E-ISSN: 1560-683X



A very small percentage of all the research generated by universities is commercialised. The article is a case study of the transformation from action research to a spin-off company. It looks at the practical implications of such a transformation.

The aim of this article is to provide a holistic view of what the process entailed to leap from academic research to the commercialisation of the research into a company as was the case for Gradnet.
A case-study approach was used to document the conceptualisation and development of the research-based, spin-off company, Gradnet. This includes the background of the original research that formed the basis of the innovation process.
It was found that the commercialisation process of academic research is not necessarily a natural process for the researcher in the absence of an appropriate supporting infrastructure.
All academic disciplines have the potential for establishing commercially viable research projects. This potential should be actively explored and pursued by the institution.

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