11.05 Commercial knowledge transfers from universities to firms


Commercial knowledge transfers from universities to firms: improving the effectiveness of university–industry collaboration
Donald S. Siegel, David A. Waldman, Leanne E. Atwater, Albert N. Link

There has been a rapid rise in commercial knowledge transfers from universities to practitioners or university–industry technology transfer (UITT), through licensing agreements, research joint ventures, and start-ups. The purpose of this study was to analyze the UITT process and its outcomes. Based on 98 structured interviews of key UITT stakeholders (i.e., university administrators, academic and industry scientists, business managers, and entrepreneurs) at five research universities in two regions of the US, we conclude that these stakeholders have different perspectives on the desired outputs of UITT. More importantly, numerous barriers to effective UITT were identified, including culture clashes, bureaucratic inflexibility, poorly designed reward systems, and ineffective management of university technology transfer offices (TTOs). Based on this qualitative evidence, we provide numerous recommendations for improving the UITT process.