Technology Transfer

Our research examines the technology and biotechnology transfer processes taking place at universities and private industry on knowledge creation to technology transfer and early-stage commercialization. A key focus of the investigation is the role played by technology transfer professionals. Research is essential for commercial outcome, the technology transfer professional is crucial in the successful conversion of knowledge to the private sector.

Many companies, universities and governmental organizations now have an "Office of Technology Transfer" (also known as "Tech Transfer" or "TechXfer") dedicated to identifying research which has potential commercial interest and strategies for how to exploit it. 

The process to commercially exploit research varies widely. It can involve licensing agreements or setting up joint ventures and partnerships to share both the risks and rewards of bringing new technologies to market. Other corporate vehicles, e.g. spin-outs, are used where the host organization does not have the necessary will, resources or skills to develop a new technology. Often these approaches are associated with raising of Capital as a means of funding the development process.

In recent years, there has been a marked increase in technology transfer intermediaries specialized in their field. They work on behalf of research institutions, governments and even large multinationals. Where start-ups and spin-outs are the clients, commercial fees are sometimes waived in lieu of an equity stake in the business. As a result of the potential complexity of the technology transfer process, technology transfer organizations are often multidisciplinary, including economists, engineers, lawyers, marketers and scientists.