The development and evolution of any system–person, organization–nation depends on how the system succeeds to bridge the gap between what the system knows and what the system does (with the knowledge). We call this the gap between knowing and doing or the knowing-doing gap.
If the system does not do what it knows, it will lose out in competition with other systems, its relative performance in any field will decline, it may run into stagnation and face destruction.
When a system succeeds to do what it knows, the knowledge of the system will increase in time, giving the system new opportunities for doing. There is positive feedback between knowing and doing. Many nations are unable to make use of the knowledge pool available in the world. They prefer to stagnate. For the science/university system we observe, that a lot of knowledge and capabilities, learned and acquired, do not make into the economy. We also observe firms endowed with first class engineers and scientists, producing sometimes outstanding knowledge, even protected by patents, but somehow this knowledge idles around, does not find its way into new products or technology.
It seems that “something” is missing in the concept of the knowledge society, knowledge management and similar ideas. That something is the factor which bridges the gap between knowing and doing, that transforms knowledge into action. We call this factor entrepreneurship and the persons bridging the gap entrepreneurs.
Our focus is on academic entrepreneurs, those bridging the gap between knowledge produced in the system of science and the problems they face when applying this knowledge in the economy. We call academic institutions, who try to bridge the gap between knowing and doing the entrepreneurial university.