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Making sense of TTO production function: University technology transfer offices as process catalysts, knowledge converters and impact amplifiers

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  • Tahvanainen, Antti-Jussi
  • Hermans, Raine

Abstract

This inductive case study of 7 US university technology transfer offices (TTOs) examines the value added that TTOs contribute to university-industry technology transfer (UITT ). We therefore (i) characterize a set of central organizational TTO practices, (ii) describe how TTOs systemically manage intangible resources to generate these practices, and (iii) describe the conceptual mechanisms through which the practices add value to UITT. The results form an inductive framework that establishes the TTO as (i) a process catalyst that lowers the threshold of UITT stakeholders to engage in technology transfer and to maintain its sustainability, (ii) a knowledge converter that enables congruence between university technology and market needs, and (iii) an impact amplifier that alleviates problems related to the opportunistic incentive structures of UITT stakeholders and maximizes societal impact. The study thus provides new insights into the internal logic of the TTO production function by qualitatively expanding and refining our understanding of the value added generated by TTOs and by helping to comprehend the relationship between inputs and outputs that underlie it.

Suggested Citation

  • Tahvanainen, Antti-Jussi & Hermans, Raine, 2011. "Making sense of TTO production function: University technology transfer offices as process catalysts, knowledge converters and impact amplifiers," Discussion Papers 1236, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:1236
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, David & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2007. "Licensing of university inventions: The role of a technology transfer office," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 483-510, June.
    2. O'Shea, Rory P. & Allen, Thomas J. & Chevalier, Arnaud & Roche, Frank, 2005. "Entrepreneurial orientation, technology transfer and spinoff performance of U.S. universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 994-1009, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Felicia Diana Nicoara & Dorin Maier & Andreea Maier, 2013. "General Aspects Related To The Technology Transfer, The Main Source Of Innovation And Development Among Economic Operators," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 4, pages 139-147, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    university-industry technology transfer; technology transfer office; organizational practices; intellectual capital; knowledge management;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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