Technolgy transfer

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Technology Transfer mostly refers to bringing something developed in an academic lab to a company for further development and commercialization.

The cycle is closely related to the role of patents and research, and the success can also be linked to technology readiness level.

Many universities have technology transfer officers as part of their staff. Sometimes it is not just a person, but a whole institution. Different countries have different idiosyncrasies. The Netherlands, for example, prefers to set TTO's as a company fully owned by the university. The company acts on a for-profit basis, bypassing general guidelines from the charter of the university.

The same model is used in different countries, but not in France, where the SATT was started as an approach for licensing out, and not to support science-based startups.

I normally see the technology transfer process as the process to create spinouts from universities. But this is definitely not the only goal. For instance, transferring IP to well established companies is rather common.

Moreover, sometimes the technology itself is rather ambiguous or closer to infrastructure than to a product.

For example, the development of the internet can be seen as a gigantic technology transfer process (see: Apple is riding the innovation wave fueled by the state). However, there is no single point of transfer, as it normally happens with startups (a single patent, know how, etc.)


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Aquiles Carattino
Aquiles Carattino
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