Hidalgo Nuchera, Antonio and Albors Garrigós, José
Technology Transfer in Public University-Industry Cooperation Programmes. Proposal of a Model based on empirical evidence..
In: "IAMOT 2008: 17th International Conference on Management of Technology", 06/04/2008-10/04/2008, Dubai, Emiratos Árabes Unidos. ISBN 0-9815817-0-6.
Technology transfer has been defined as goal-orientated intentional interaction between two or more social entities during which the stock of technological knowledge remains stable or is increased through the transfer of one or more components of the technology. One of the recognised problems in the innovation and technology management in Spain is related to the transfer of technology and knowledge between university and industry. The challenges faced by public innovation policies are correlated to an improvement in the transfer of knowledge and technology from universities and research centres to industry; hence the fact that some European authors have emphasised the need to provide this activity with more visibility and prestige, being this one of the new directions of national and European Union technology policies. The objective of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the underlying factors in the technology transfer process from universities to industry dealing with robotics and production technologies. It aims to provide answers to a number of questions related to success facilitating factors and barriers which hinder the transfer of technology and its ultimate impact on industry. Furthermore, the paper seeks to construct a model which will explain the differences between both transfer processes: those taking place in either an industry or a university context. The methodology for this research is based on a survey carried out on a sample of public research organisations (universities and R&D centres) and firms participating in two types of projects. The first group corresponds to R&D projects funded by the Interministerial Science and Technology Commission of Spain. These projects were coordinated by universities, with the participation of firms and R&D centres. Second group was composed of projects funded by the Centre for Industrial Technology Development (CDTI). These projects were coordinated by firms, with the participation of universities and R&D centres. The survey, which was completed by 250 organisations, covered a number of aspects related to the attitudes of the participant, questions related to the technology, the barriers encountered, the technology transfer mechanisms and the final impact of the programme. As conclusions, differences between both groups are highlighted. For universities and R&D centres, the relevant variables are therefore the initial exploitation objectives, legal barriers, access to new knowledge, relevance of knowledge acquisition and fulfilment of these objectives. In other words, the aspects relating to knowledge are clear determinants in the project. For firms, the relevant variables are therefore the initial industrial exploitation objectives, the relevance of knowledge acquisition objectives and the fulfilment of objectives related to innovation, the commercial exportation of results, the transfer of technology into patents and licences, engineering activities and risk sharing. In firms group, those aspects related to innovation and the exploitation and transfer of results are shown as determinants in the project. Finally, when considering the barriers or obstacles to fulfilling project objectives, it can be concluded that only the technological aspects are shown to be important and that there is no significant difference between the opinion of firms and universities.