The role of academia in fostering economic growth is now considered a key element of national science and technology policies. This book recaps and extends ten years of researches aiming to understand the behaviour of Italian universities in such new environment. In particular, I present a detailed account of the patenting activity, changes in the national legislation, the institution-level rules and practices, and the faculty opinions. A great value stems from using from investigating the relations between all these factors and from viewing them under a comprehensive but multiple perspective. The university-level patent regulations describe the organisational context at each institution. The surveys, to the academic inventors and to a matched sampled of the non patenting faculty, provide insight into the scientists'' motivations and the opinions on the infrastructure for patenting activity, including perceptions by faculty members entering the patent process but finally renouncing before any application could be filed. Finally, econometric models on patent counts measure the formal involvement of professors and universities in patenting, and of the different levels of activity.