A new perspective to explore the technology transfer efficiencies in US universities
Universities play a critical role in the complex technology transfer process that facilitates technology transformation from pure research activities to commercialization. The literature has recently focused on whether universities are efficient in this process. With a two-stage perspective, this study explores the required capabilities for universities to be efficient in technology transfer process. To explore the efficiencies in different stages of technology transfer, we apply a 2-stage process DEA method. The model considers 2 inputs, 2 intermediate variables, and 3 output variables from the Association of University Technology Management database. These variables represent funding resource, patenting activities, and licensing and entrepreneurships. Technology transfer in the 2-stage perspective includes the research innovation stage and the value creation stage. The results show that achieving efficiency in the 2 technology-transfer stages requires many different innovation capabilities; thus, most efficient universities only perform efficiently in one of the two stages. When mapping the relative site of universities in the reference network, we found that efficient universities in the research innovation stage are in a more centralized location than those in the value creation stage. By contrast, in the value creation stage, efficient universities can be identified as different reference groups for specific inefficient universities. The network visualization also helps to explain that universities must consider their relative advantages and capabilities to reach efficiency goals in different stages. The comparison between the large-scale group and the small-scale group also showed that a resource scale is critical for universities to accumulate different required capabilities for efficiencies in both stages. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014
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