We inductively examine how exceptional Principal Investigators (PIs), who are active in biotechnology, medical devices, and nanotechnology, affect new technology trajectories and shape market boundaries by leveraging synergies stemming from their being simultaneously a scientist and a (lead) user. Our central contribution is the scientist-user template that explores how these types of PIs perform successfully their technology transfer task and, consequently, address increasing expectations about PIs as agents of economic and societal development. Building upon five illustrative case histories, we propose that scientist-user PIs exhibit superior capabilities in turning generic technology into several selected market applications, with no negative effects on their academic role. Overall, we develop a holistic view of synergies stemming from the scientist and user sides and offer insights into academic entrepreneurship and research project management
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