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Equity and the Technology Transfer Strategies of American Research Universities

  • Maryann Feldman

    ()

    (Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218)

  • Irwin Feller

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802)

  • Janet Bercovitz

    ()

    (The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708)

  • Richard Burton

    ()

    (The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708)

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    American universities are experimenting with new mechanisms for promoting the commercialization of academic research and generating revenue from university intellectual property. This paper discusses mechanisms available to universities in managing the commercialization of intellectual property, considering equity as a technology transfer mechanism that offers advantages for both generating revenue and aligning the interests of universities, industry and faculty. Employing data from a national survey of Carnegie I and Carnegie II institutions, we document the recent rise in university equity holdings. We present and estimate a model that considers the university's use of equity to be a function of behavioral factors related to the university's prior experiences with licensing, success relative to other institutions, and the organization of the technology transfer office, as well as structural characteristics related to university type.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.48.1.105.14276
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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 48 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 105-121

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:48:y:2002:i:1:p:105-121
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    1. James G. March & Zur Shapira, 1987. "Managerial Perspectives on Risk and Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(11), pages 1404-1418, November.
    2. Rebecca Henderson & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1998. "Universities As A Source Of Commercial Technology: A Detailed Analysis Of University Patenting, 1965-1988," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 119-127, February.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
    4. March, James G., 1988. "Variable risk preferences and adaptive aspirations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 5-24, January.
    5. Bray, Michael J. & Lee, James N., 2000. "University revenues from technology transfer: Licensing fees vs. equity positions," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 15(5-6), pages 385-392.
    6. Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson & Adam Jaffe, 1997. "University Versus Corporate Patents: A Window On The Basicness Of Invention," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 19-50.
    7. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Brewer, Marilynn B, 1998. "Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 290-306, March.
    8. Lerner, Josh & Merges, Robert P, 1998. "The Control of Technology Alliances: An Empirical Analysis of the Biotechnology Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 125-56, June.
    9. Donald Siegel & David Waldman & Albert Link, 1999. "Assessing the Impact of Organizational Practices on the Productivity of University Technology Transfer Offices: An Exploratory Study," NBER Working Papers 7256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Lerner, Josh, 1999. "The Government as Venture Capitalist: The Long-Run Impact of the SBIR Program," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(3), pages 285-318, July.
    11. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    12. Nicholas S. Vonortas & Henry R. Hertzfeld, 1998. "Research and development project selection in the public sector," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(4), pages 621-638.
    13. Feller, I., 1990. "University Patent And Technology Licensting Strategies," Papers 4-90-3, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
    14. Thursby, Jerry G & Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie C, 2001. "Objectives, Characteristics and Outcomes of University Licensing: A Survey of Major U.S. Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 59-72, January.
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