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The beginning of university entrepreneurship in Japan: TLOs and bioventures lead the way

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  • Robert Kneller

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Abstract

Following reforms between 1998 and 2004, Japan’s technology transfer system closely resembles the U.S. Bayh-Dole system. Numbers of TLO patents and licenses and numbers of startups are respectable compared to U.S. numbers shortly after enactment of Bayh-Dole. However, capabilities of TLOs vary, average royalties are low, and business prospects for most startups seem limited. In contrast, joint research with companies is increasing rapidly. Most joint research inventions are jointly owned giving the companies an automatic de facto, non-transferable, royalty-free and license. Data from one university show a large proportion of engineering and materials/chemistry inventions are attributed to joint research with large companies, thus limiting opportunities for startup formation and licensing to other small companies. (In biomedicine, pre-emption of discoveries by joint research is less.) Pre-emption of university discoveries (often publicly funded) under joint research agreements recreates the pre-reform system, where corporate donations also enabled pre-emption of discoveries. Like the old system, the new system is advantageous to established companies. Strengthening the formal system (including programs to assist startups) may redress this balance and give Japan the benefits of both types of technology transfer systems. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Kneller, 2007. "The beginning of university entrepreneurship in Japan: TLOs and bioventures lead the way," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 435-456, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:32:y:2007:i:4:p:435-456
    DOI: 10.1007/s10961-006-9024-9
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10961-006-9024-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kneller, Robert, 2003. "Autarkic drug discovery in Japanese pharmaceutical companies: insights into national differences in industrial innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1805-1827, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pluvia Zuniga, 2011. "The State of Patenting at Research Institutions in Developing Countries: Policy Approaches and Practices," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 04, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division, revised Dec 2011.
    2. Nobuya Fukugawa, 2013. "University spillovers into small technology-based firms: channel, mechanism, and geography," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 415-431, August.
    3. Braguinsky, Serguey & Honjo, Yuji & Nagaoka, Sadao & Nakamura, Kenta, 2010. "Science-Based Business : Knowledge Capital or Entrepreneurial Ability? : Theory and Evidence from a Survey of Biotechnology Start-ups," IIR Working Paper 10-05, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. Weiping Wu, 2010. "Managing and incentivizing research commercialization in Chinese Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 203-224, April.
    5. repec:spr:scient:v:105:y:2015:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-015-1748-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Anne Miner & Yan Gong & Michael Ciuchta & Anthony Sadler & John Surdyk, 2012. "Promoting university startups: international patterns, vicarious learning and policy implications," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 213-233, April.
    7. Walsh, John P. & Huang, Hsini, 2014. "Local context, academic entrepreneurship and open science: Publication secrecy and commercial activity among Japanese and US scientists," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 245-260.
    8. repec:wip:wpaper:4 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Joint/sponsored research; Startups; TLOs; IP ownership; Large vs. small company collaborations; Biomedical vs. engineering inventions; International comparisons; D23; D73; O32; O34; O38; O57;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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