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Determinants and public policy implications of academic-industry knowledge transfer in life sciences: a review and a conceptual framework

Listed author(s):
  • Ani Gerbin

    (Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka)

  • Mateja Drnovsek

    ()

    (University of Ljubljana)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract There is a considerable interest of scholars in benefits and challenges arising from involvement of academic researchers and their institutions in knowledge transfer activities with the business sector. The emerging questions have resulted in a number of studies, yielding rich but mixed findings. The purpose of this paper is to systematically review this body of investigative work, with a particular emphasis on life sciences. Based on the systematic analysis and synthesis of 135 articles published between 1980 and 2014, we discuss the most interesting findings for each of the six identified principal academic-industry research topics: involvement predictors and motivators, role of incentives, institutional performance determinants, knowledge transfer institutionalization, relationship with scientific output and impact on open science. Whereas many studies reach consensus regarding the particular personal and contextual predictors of researchers’ knowledge transfer involvement, we also find substantial evidence that depending on empirical setting, variables such as scientific productivity and institutional technology transfer support policies can act both as enablers and inhibitors in the process. We find no straightforward evidence regarding the role of the size, age and structure of technology transfer offices in the knowledge transfer performance of academic institutions. We also show that most studies agree that engagement in knowledge transfer activities does not negatively affect the researchers’ scientific output. Yet, it is less clear to what extent university-industry interactions can be detrimental for the norms of open science. We draw several policy implications for academic settings and emphasize interesting avenues for further research in this field.

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal The Journal of Technology Transfer.

    Volume (Year): 41 (2016)
    Issue (Month): 5 (October)
    Pages: 979-1076

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:41:y:2016:i:5:d:10.1007_s10961-015-9457-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s10961-015-9457-0
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