From academic laboratory to the market: Disclosed and undisclosed narratives of commercialization

Adi Sapir*, Amalya L. Oliver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper examines how the Weizmann Institute of Science has been telling the story of the successful commercialization of a scientific invention, through its corporate communication channels, from the early 1970s to today. The paper aims to shed light on the transformation processes by which intellectual-property-based commercialization activities have become widely institutionalized in universities all over the world, and on the complexities, ambiguities and tensions surrounding this transition. We look at the story of the scientific invention of Copolymer-1 at the Weizmann Institute of Science and its licensing to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which subsequently developed the highly successful drug Copaxone for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. We argue that, in its tellings and retellings of the story of Copolymer-1, the Weizmann Institute has created narratives that serve to legitimize the institution of academic patenting in Israel.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)33-52
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Studies of Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.


  • intellectual property
  • patents
  • research commercialization
  • technology transfer


Dive into the research topics of 'From academic laboratory to the market: Disclosed and undisclosed narratives of commercialization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this