Value Creation in the Interface of Industry and Academy - A Case Study of Intellectual Capital of Technology Transfer Offices At US Universities
This study scrutinizes the impact of value-creating practices in university-industry technology transfer that facilitate the diffusion of knowledge generated in academic research towards its successful application by companies on markets. To be more precise, the aim is to demarcate the role that US university technology transfer offices (TTOs), one of the consequential arrangements conjured into existence by the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, play in matching the substance of academic research and the need-driven demand of commercial markets. In the process, they implicitly, yet strategically, guarantee the sustainability of the flow of technologies out of the laboratories towards market application, as their actions and motives uphold and sustain the incentive structures of both of the universes, the academic and the commercial. This is accomplished by performing and specializing in the very functions that neither universe has been able or willing to perform in order to take a step closer towards each other. These contributions are often hard to capture in quantitative measures, which has led to common criticism about the effectiveness of TTOs. We propose such measures to be used with care in the comparative evaluation of TTO performance, but also point at and recognize their value as parameters that can be utilized to internally monitor the performance of each TTO individually over time as a tool of management. Some alternative, Intellectual Capital based measures are suggested.
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