Building a Sustainable and Innovation-Driven Economy in Nigeria: Academic Entrepreneurship Perspective

Adelowo Caleb Muyiwa


Transitioning from resource-dependent society to a more advanced economy requires the development of highly sophisticated knowledge society. Evidences from developed and newly industrializing economies have consistently shown that knowledge generation and exploitation is critical to technological and socio-economic progress of nations. Unfortunately, latecomer economies, particularly in Africa, have paid little or no attention to innovation resulting in high unemployment and pervasive poverty. For that reasons, these economies need to deliberately invest in knowledge production and commercialisation to stimulate innovation and employment. This puts higher education and research institutions (HERIs) at the forefront of creating knowledge-based and innovation-driven economies, as they have the potential not only to produce top quality human capital and expand the frontiers of knowledge but also to continuously replenishing the market with innovative products, processes and services to satisfy societal needs.However, turning the knowledge outputs to products, processes and services demands that deliberate initiatives and strategies be put in place in these institutions to foster research commercialisation through academic entrepreneurship. Therefore, this paper examined faculties’ perception of university context in fostering academic entrepreneurship. Primary data was collected from two hundred and twenty-nine (229) faculties in thirteen selected universities across South-Western Nigeria. The standardized academic entrepreneurship perception scale was adapted to obtain the data. Data collected were analysed using frequencies, component factor analysis and binary logistic regression. The results showed that faculties’ positive perception of university characteristics (OR=1.78, CI 95%, p < 0.05) and innovation support system (OR=1.93, CI 99%, p < 0.01) were positively related and significant to academic entrepreneurship. However, faculties’ perception of strategic resources (OR=0.811, CI 95%, p > 0.52) did not show significant relationship to academic entrepreneurship. Other key results included poor perception on the reward system for innovation, as greater emphasis was placed on publication, rather than research commercialisation. The paper concludes that university administrators and government should create and strengthen positive ambience for innovation in Nigerian university system. Also, there is urgent need to initiate institutional re-configuration, individual re-orientation and adopt the triple-helix approach in R&D management to support Nigerian innovation system.


Academic entrepreneurship, SDGs, Innovations, triple-helix, Intellectual property, Nigeria, Africa

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