Determinants of international technology transfer: an empirical analysis of the Enterprise Europe Network
Given that science and technology are inductors of economic development, the emergence of a knowledge-based economy creates an overlay of communications and expectations that have led to institutional restructuring based on innovative capacities. While the literature tends to concentrate on university-industry relations, this paper intends go a step further, by exploring the university-industry-government relations established in a technology transfer context. Particular attention is paid to the key factors that foster technology transfer within the triad university-industry-government in an international context, i.e., the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). Based on 71 technological Partnership Agreements (PAs), estimation results indicate that PAs associated to partners that provide their collaborators with the appropriate training in technology transfer-related issues, present substantial past experience in international or technological projects, and participate in extensive networks, are those that achieve better performances in terms of international technology transfer. In contrast, and quite surprisingly, the EEN’s human capital endowments and absorptive capacity act as barriers to international technology transfer. A deeper analysis into this latter finding shows that high levels of formal schooling per se are not a key determinant of international technology transfer; indeed, the critical factor is instead highly educated human resources who receive complementary training in technology transfer issues.
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