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An Empirical Analysis of the Propensity of Academics to Engage in Informal University Technology Transfer

Author

Listed:
  • Albert N. Link

    () (Department of Economics, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC, USA)

  • Donald S. Siegel

    () (Department of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590, USA)

  • Barry Bozeman

    () (Department of Public Administration and Policy, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA)

Abstract

Formal university technology transfer mechanisms, through licensing agreements, research joint ventures, and university-based startups, have attracted considerable attention in the academic literature. Surprisingly, there has been little systematic empirical analysis of the propensity of academics to engage in informal technology transfer. This paper presents empirical evidence on the determinants of three types of informal technology transfer by faculty members: knowledge transfer, joint publications with industry scientists, and consulting. We find that male and tenured faculty members are more likely to engage in all three forms of informal technology transfer. We also find that academics who allocate a relatively higher percentage of their time to grants-related research are more likely to engage in informal commercial knowledge transfer.

Suggested Citation

  • Albert N. Link & Donald S. Siegel & Barry Bozeman, 2006. "An Empirical Analysis of the Propensity of Academics to Engage in Informal University Technology Transfer," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0610, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:rpi:rpiwpe:0610
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Friedman, Joseph & Silberman, Jonathan, 2003. "University Technology Transfer: Do Incentives, Management, and Location Matter?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 17-30, January.
    2. Bozeman, Barry & Gaughan, Monica, 2007. "Impacts of grants and contracts on academic researchers' interactions with industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 694-707, June.
    3. Donald S. Siegel & Phillip H. Phan, 2004. "Analyzing the Effectiveness of University Technology Transfer: Implications for Entrepreneurship Education," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0426, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
    4. Jerry G. Thursby & Marie C. Thursby, 2004. "Are Faculty Critical? Their Role in University-Industry Licensing," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(2), pages 162-178, April.
    5. Elizabeth Corley & Monica Gaughan, 2005. "Scientists’ Participation in University Research Centers: What are the Gender Differences?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 371-381, October.
    6. Siegel, Donald S. & Westhead, Paul & Wright, Mike, 2003. "Assessing the impact of university science parks on research productivity: exploratory firm-level evidence from the United Kingdom," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 1357-1369, November.
    7. Owen-Smith, Jason & Powell, Walter W., 2003. "The expanding role of university patenting in the life sciences: assessing the importance of experience and connectivity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1695-1711, October.
    8. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R, 2001. "Capturing Technological Opportunity via Japan's Star Scientists: Evidence from Japanese Firms' Biotech Patents and Products," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 37-58, January.
    9. Albert Link & Donald Siegel, 2005. "Generating science-based growth: an econometric analysis of the impact of organizational incentives on university-industry technology transfer," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 169-181.
    10. Saul Lach & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Royalty Sharing and Technology Licensing in Universities," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 252-264, 04/05.
    11. Owen-Smith, Jason & Powell, Walter W, 2001. "To Patent or Not: Faculty Decisions and Institutional Success at Technology Transfer," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 99-114, January.
    12. Bronwyn H. Hall & Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2003. "Universities as Research Partners," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 485-491, May.
    13. Hertzfeld, Henry R. & Link, Albert N. & Vonortas, Nicholas S., 2006. "Intellectual property protection mechanisms in research partnerships," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 825-838, July.
    14. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2002. "Links and Impacts: The Influence of Public Research on Industrial R&D," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 1-23, January.
    15. Dietz, James S. & Bozeman, Barry, 2005. "Academic careers, patents, and productivity: industry experience as scientific and technical human capital," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 349-367, April.
    16. Jensen, Richard A. & Thursby, Jerry G. & Thursby, Marie C., 2003. "Disclosure and licensing of University inventions: 'The best we can do with the s**t we get to work with'," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 1271-1300, November.
    17. Thursby, Jerry G & Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie C, 2001. "Objectives, Characteristics and Outcomes of University Licensing: A Survey of Major U.S. Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 59-72, January.
    18. Donald Siegel & David Waldman & Albert Link, 1999. "Assessing the Impact of Organizational Practices on the Productivity of University Technology Transfer Offices: An Exploratory Study," NBER Working Papers 7256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Marie Thursby & Richard Jensen, 2001. "Proofs and Prototypes for Sale: The Licensing of University Inventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 240-259, March.
    20. Bozeman, Barry, 2000. "Technology transfer and public policy: a review of research and theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 627-655, April.
    21. Julia Porter Liebeskind & Amalya Lumerman Oliver & Lynne G. Zucker & Marilynn B. Brewer, 1995. "Social Networks, Learning, and Flexibility: Sourcing Scientific Knowledge in New Biotechnology Firms," NBER Working Papers 5320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • 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

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