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Technology transfer in a global economy
David B. Audretsch • Erik E. Lehmann • Mike Wright
Published online: 6 December 2012 ! Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012
Abstract The emergence of new technologies is acting both as a driving force and an enabling factor to globalization. At the same time, these technologies are changing rapidly, shortening the life cycles of products and the underlying processes, and raising technology costs. Technology transfer from academic and scientific institutions has thus transformed into a strategic variable for companies and nations to cope with these challenges in a global economy. This article introduces the rationale for the special issue on the role of tech- nology transfer in a global economy. The paper summarizes the main topics and themes covered by a selection of papers and keynotes presented at the annual conference of the Technology Transfer Society in 2011, as well as providing some pointers towards a future research agenda.
D. B. Audretsch Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
D. B. Audretsch WHU Otto Beisheim School of Business, 56179 Valendar, Germany
E. E. Lehmann (&) Department of Business and Economics, Augsburg University, Universitaetsstr. 16, 86159 Augsburg, Germany e-mail: erik.Lehmann@wiwi.uni-augsburg.de
E. E. Lehmann Global Business Management (GBM), Augsburg and CisAlpino Center for Comparative Studies in Europe (CCSE), Bergamo, Italy
M. Wright Centre for Management Buy-out Research, Imperial College Business School, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK e-mail: email@example.com
M. Wright University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium
J Technol Transf (2014) 39:301–312 DOI 10.1007/s10961-012-9283-6
Keywords Academic entrepreneurship ! Entrepreneurship policy ! Global networks ! Global clusters ! Intellectual property rights ! Universities ! Technology transfer ! Science parks
JEL Classification N31 ! O30 ! O31
Recent decades are often characterized as the era of globalization—never before has such a web of linkages and interconnections existed, including a worldwide system of production, distribution, new structures and relationships (Acs and Preston 1997). Globalization stimulates competition worldwide, forcing government to adopt market-oriented policies, both domestically and internationally. Competition pressures producers to continually innovate, improve quality and cost effectiveness of existing products. At the same time, firms can no longer acquire nor afford all the technological and human resources they need. This inhibits their ability to foster flexible relationships with other firms, and most importantly, institutions, like universities. The result has been an increasing trend of research over the last 25 years involving technology and knowledge transfers from academic institutions to private industry (see e.g. Siegel and Wright 2013 for a review).
A first wave of academic research on technology transfer and globalization began in the 1990s, after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Often expressed as North–South technology transfer, transfers from developed and industrialized nations—the North—to underdevel- oped and poor nations—the South—accelerates economic, industrial and social develop- ment. Not surprisingly, attention is paid to a diverse set of developing nations. They include not only countries from Africa and Latin America, but also India, China, countries from the former Soviet Union, and other formerly communistic nations. The process of international economic integration has been underway since then, facilitated by more open economic policies, trade liberalization and technical advances in transport and commu- nication (Westphal 2002). Exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) emerged as key channels for international integration and technology transfer through multinationals (Acs and Preston 1997). Since then, the rapid pace of globalization has changed the landscape significantly. In particular, the emergence and rapid growth of multinational firms ema- nating from Brazil, Russia, India or China (BRIC) are now also involved in the interna- tional process of production and economic integration. Recent rankings of the Top 100 firms as measured by market value reveals this impressive growth. However, not all manufacturing industries are affected by globalization to the same extent. Studies from OECD countries show that in particular medium and high technology intensive industries are more internationalized due to a lack of in-house knowledge (OECD 2007). This leads to a reverse process in the technology transfer process. Currently, international or global technology transfer is focused on transfer of technologies, knowledge and overseas sub- sidization of firms. Instead of the former North–South transfer from developed to under- developed countries, the focus of technology transfer now is less concerned about the acceleration of economic development or fostering the transition process of underdevel- oped nations but on the exploitation of comparative advantages within global competition. The emergence of new global players in the former underdeveloped countries and the integration of new players in the global economy challenge existing comparative advan- tages and competitiveness of countries and regions (Hoskisson et al. 2012).
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A second wave of academic research is now emerging, focusing on the pace and scale of today’s globalization, most often associated with value added supply chains. Production processes are becoming increasingly fragmented geographically, following an international division of labor. Firms find it advantageous to outsource key stages of production to other countries. Technology transfer is strongly considered on the regional level, following Porter’s argument that ‘‘the enduring competitive advantages in a global economy lie increasingly in local things—knowledge, relationships, motivations—that distant rivals cannot match’’ (Porter 1998, p. 78). An increasing body of literature both theoretically and empirically has since emerged to analyze how knowledge and ideas spillover that lead to economic growth and welfare (Dejardin and Fritsch 2011; Audretsch et al. 2005, 2006).
Policy makers are concerned with sources of knowledge spillovers and how ideas can best be commercialized. Starting with the Bayle–Dole Act of 1980 in the US, and con- tinued by, among others, the European Union with the Lisbon-Agenda in 2002, most OECD countries reacted to these new challenges (Mowery and Sampat 2005; Cosh and Hughes 2010). In particular, academic and scientific institutions are the focus of policy makers and business practitioners as the main drivers and sources of scientific and human knowledge (Audretsch et al. 2005, 2012; Colombo et al. 2010; Wright et al. 2008, 2009). Given large investments in university research, policy makers and firm managers naturally seek greater returns through spillovers and technology transfer to improve competitive advantages in the global world. Increasing investment in scientific research also raises incentives for universities to increase revenue by commercializing scientific output (Mowery 2005). Analyzing and understanding technology transfer from academic and scientific institutions into marketable ideas thus becomes one of the most important topics in academic research. Despite the various and fruitful research done in this topic, there is a need for a better assessment of the role played by universities and policy in a global economy (Audretsch et al. 2013).
The annual conference of the Technology Transfer Society in 2011: Technology Transfer in a Global Economy was dedicated to uniting professionals from academia, research institutes and business practitioners. A collection of papers and thoughts presented at this conference is summarized in this issue. While technology transfer may have several objectives, depending on the resource, user or mechanism, the main objective is to promote movement of federally developed ideas, knowledge and technologies created in public institutions to the marketplace for commercialization. Within this context, the role of universities is intensively discussed as a primary source and factor within the technology process. This problem is thus primarily dedicated to the role that government and uni- versity institutions play in shaping the commercialization of federally developed tech- nology and knowledge within a global economy. The aim of this special issue is to shrink this gap, by analyzing the technology transfer process from both a macro and a micro perspective. This shifts the focus from broad policy levels (Sect. 2.1), through the level of university-industry relationships and global networks (Sect. 2.2) towards the micro level of single universities (Sect. 2.3).
2 Themes and contributions
2.1 Global innovation policy
Globalization and new technologies have triggered a shift away from capital and physical assets towards intangible assets and knowledge. Competitive advantages have shifted away
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from access to financial and physical capital towards knowledge-based resources and human capital. This shift from ideas, insights and innovation requires that the different actors and players are willing and able to seek opportunities to actualize and commer- cialize them by championing them to society (Wang and Shapira 2012). To foster and support this process, several policy areas should be considered, in particular entrepre- neurial policy, new areas of economic and academic activities, intellectual property rights (IPR), cluster policies and efforts at the regional and local level.
Policies to foster entrepreneurship and new areas of economic activities might aim at creating new areas of economic activities in stimulating new firm creation and entrepre- neurship (Varis and Littunen 2010). This dictates a specific attitude: being entrepreneurial! Like entrepreneurs seeking opportunities to commercialize their ideas, policy makers, managers at universities and institutions of higher education, and large and established firms must behave like entrepreneurs (Phan et al. 2009). The entrepreneurial society, as described by Audretsch (2009), constitutes the result and need of this shift, covering the whole society. University entrepreneurship expresses the necessity of universities and higher education policy to cope with these global challenges. Audretsch (2013) begins by asking how and why the role of universities in society has evolved over time. Economies, specifically in Western Countries, have evolved from being driven by physical capital to knowledge and then again by entrepreneurship. He argues the forces shaping this economic shift also shape the role of universities over time. The entrepreneurial university thus responds by generating technology transfer, knowledge-based start-ups and human capital. However, in the entrepreneurial society, the focus should be broadened by enhancing entrepreneurship capital and facilitating behavior to prosper.
In recent decades, universities have often responded by investing in augmented tech- nology transfer offices (Siegel and Phan 2005; Siegel et al. 2003; Hülsbeck et al. 2011), starting courses and programs in entrepreneurship and commercializing ideas, broadening administrative and academic support for all kinds of knowledge transfer. Academic entrepreneurship became the role model of modern universities (Phan et al. 2009; Wright et al. 2008, 2009; Shane 2004). Since universities are identified as the driving forces in the technology transfer process, and academic entrepreneurship became the dominant strategic orientation of universities, competitive advantages in a worldwide competition diminishes. This puts pressure on policy makers and university managers to rearrange the focus of their strategic orientations towards the challenge beyond academic entrepreneurship and tech- nology transfer. Wright (2013) outlines a synthesis of micro and macro levels that attempt to provide a broader conceptualization of academic entrepreneurship and technology transfer. He illustrates that academic entrepreneurship and technology transfer are maturing as an area of study and policy. Maturation of research poses major challenges for publishing on this topic in good journals since it becomes harder to identify research questions—and thus rejection rates increase (Clark and Wright 2007, 2009). At the same time, societal benefits of universities and academic entrepreneurship are subject of much continuing policy debate. Wright suggests these developments provide opportunities for new research avenues in the area of academic entrepreneurship and technology transfer. These developments also create a need to reassess policy towards academic entrepreneurship, specifically and towards universities more generally. He concludes by envisioning two complementary roles for universities in the promotion of academic entrepreneurship. First, direct academic entre- preneurship in which novel, world class research plays an important role in creating innovations that lead to strategic competitive advantage. Second, an indirect academic entrepreneurship, where education and research experience may lead indirectly to entre- preneurial actions through corporate spin-offs and start-ups by alumni and students.
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In view of the changing environment of innovation in a global economy, it is important to consider whether the current system of IPR rules and practices continues to stimulate innovation and provide access to knowledge or fair use and the diffusion of knowledge. In particular, when in certain cases abuses of control with which IPR owners are sometimes endowed could hamper competition and entry (OECD 2007). An important requirement in the technology transfer process in a global economy is thus to establish legal ownership of that technology through intellectual property law. Generally recognized forms of intel- lectual property in industrial nations are patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Recent developments about patent ownership and rights underline the importance of a clear basis of property rights to avoid inefficient bargaining. This, however, requires a new body of knowledge. Graham and Hancock (2013) address this topic and highlight the USPTO Chief Economist’s office’s research agenda. They explain broad and diverse aspects of innovation, IPRs, and the economy. Graham and Hancock argue that not only patents but also trademarks are a developing field in empirical scholarship. They outline that trade- marks have not been historically closely analyzed by economic researchers. However, they note that trademarks are relevant to many areas due to the large amount of commercial activity they can capture. Trademarks are particularly relevant in fields of innovation that patenting may not capture well, such as business-model and service innovation, and other innovation in activities that are closer to marketing than to manufacturing. Trademarks can also cover technological fields which may be eligible for patent protection but in which patents are not as commonly used. They believe that close collaboration with the research community will be the most fruitful way to develop this body of knowledge. Graham and Hancock conclude that a better understanding of innovation policy and the positive con- tributions of timely and high-quality examination of IPRs is important both to the USPTO and to scholarly researchers alike (Bercovitz et al. 2001).
2.2 Global networks and clusters
It is widely known that local and regional strengths are an important asset for economic policy within a globalized world. Firms may be attracted to very specific activities and skills that only exist in some regions and locations (Audretsch et al. 2006). These activities and skills may be linked to scientific or academic institutions, which changed their mission and vision towards an entrepreneurial orientation. Academic entrepreneurship orientation, the quantity and quality of social networks and experience with industrial collaboration, increase with time and play an important role in the knowledge and technology transfer (Siegel et al. 2003). At the aggregate level, the creation of technological collaboration between countries can be considered as mutually beneficial or detrimental. Such global innovation networks are emerging as a result of the international division of innovation processes through, among others, international technological collaborations (Gassler and Nones 2008). Consequently, the dynamics and evolution of the technological collabora- tions can be expected to fulfill the criteria of a complex network.
Walshok et al. (2013) examine the growth of transnational networks of innovation. They propose a preliminary classificatory system of four distinct kinds of forces which give rise to social networks that facilitate knowledge flows, relationship building and collaborative activities important to accessing global markets. They argue that networks may form around a technology sector, be identity based, emerge from a government-led initiative, or be stimulated by a civic or philanthropic organization. They state that each has a different mode of organizing, financing, and meeting its objectives, as shown by examples presented in the paper. Their proposed classification of these characteristics is intended to open a technology transfer in a global economy 305
conversation within the social sciences and among policy makers about how better to understand the ways in which transnational networks get formed, operate and produce desired results.
International technological and innovation collaboration often occurs when separate businesses form a technological joint venture to develop new knowledge or products. At the aggregate level, the result of global technological collaborations is the emergence of knowledge flows between countries (Gulbrandsen and Godoe 2008). The existence of such flows between any pair of countries creates externalities to other countries, like increased competition for skilled labor or knowledge spillovers (Sachwald 2008; Braunerhjelm et al. 2010). De Prato and Nepelski (2013) study the structure and evolution of global techno- logical collaboration networks and create a unique map of technological collaborations between countries around the world, i.e. the global technological collaboration network, and analyze the determinants of the formation of technological collaboration relationships between countries. They begin by examining the structure and dynamics of the global technological network, workings of network interactions, what positions countries occupy and how economic fundamentals affect the formation of technological networks. They use patent-based data of international co-inventions and apply network analyses. Extending the gravity model of international technological collaboration by network measures, they show that a country’s position in the network has very strong impact on the intensity of col- laboration with other countries. The empirical results presented by De Prato and Nepelski (2013) show that the inclusion of network indices, controlling for the position of a country in a global R&D network, are well justified. Moreover, in addition to the standard explanatory variables, they argue that innovation networks deliver additional information explaining the existence and intensity of R&D linkages between countries.
Like global innovation networks, entrepreneurship research centers emerged in the past decade all over the world. In recent years, there has been substantial global increase in investment in science parks to facilitate technology transfer and regional growth. Science parks have thus become an international phenomenon (Siegel and Phan 2005). While studies on the determinants of performance of research centers have mainly focused on science and technology, entrepreneurship has so far been neglected. Cassia et al. (2013) investigate entrepreneurship research centers analyzing their research performance. Using a sample of 46 centers worldwide, their results shed light on entrepreneurship research and the role of centers by discussing knowledge transfer mechanisms and research orientation in relationship to scientific performance. Their findings contribute to the divergence of methodologies and approach in entrepreneurship research. They also corroborate the view that centers enable a compound Matthew-effect, according to which knowledge is trans- ferred to external stakeholders, when controlling for research orientation of the center, foster and enrich research performance.
2.3 Technology transfer on the country level
Making countries an attractive location for economic activities needs an understanding of what determines national and regional attractiveness. Carree et al. (2013) integrate the discussed perspectives of academic entrepreneurship, technology transfer and IPRs within an entrepreneurial society. They begin by asking why and how knowledge spillovers spur economic growth. They see new entrepreneurial ventures as an effective mechanism to transform academic knowledge into regional economic growth. In this study they test the hypothesis that entrepreneurship represents an effective mechanism to transform academic knowledge into economic growth. They evaluate three outputs of academic activities:
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teaching, research, and IPR activities management, along with the importance of new ventures to transform the mentioned outputs into improved economic performance. The analysis is carried out in Italian provinces between 2001 and 2006, showing that academic outputs improve economic performance. They conclude that new entrepreneurial ventures act as opportunity seekers providing new and valuable commercial opportunities overseen by established firms. In this sense, entrepreneurial universities are incubators or interme- diaries that provide a supportive environment in which the university community can explore, evaluate and exploit ideas that could be transformed into social and economic entrepreneurial initiatives.
Empirical research on entrepreneurial universities is often carried out with a cross- section sample of universities. As previous research shows, the results are often somewhat biased since important variables like historical background, cultural and social structures could not be controlled for. In particular in Europe, though located in a close geographic proximity, universities differ significantly from each other in their institutional arrange- ments, traditions and characteristics (Wright et al. 2008). Guerrero et al. (2013) alterna- tively use an in-depth qualitative approach to analyze the different roles and tasks of an entrepreneurial university. They compare two entrepreneurial universities in two different European regions, Spain and Ireland, highlighting some organizational practices and approaches relevant to the transformation process of other regional universities seeking to become an entrepreneurial university. They report significant evidence that regional uni- versities have extensive outreach activities aimed at industry and primary and secondary school pupils. Formal outreach activities are critically important for regional universities to sustain their competitive positions with respect to their teaching mission particularly among secondary school pupils and to provide opportunities to children who would have not had the opportunity to pursue tertiary education. Experimentation of approaches to exploit the resources and capabilities is necessary to support the entrepreneurial mission of research universities and for effective knowledge and technology transfer. They report that absorptive capacity increases as universities embrace more aspects of the entrepreneurial university. High dependency on public funding as the main source of income does not prevent regional universities from adopting many aspects of the entrepreneurial university. In summary, they conclude that the main implications of their study are aligned with strategies for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in regional contexts promoted by the European Union for 2020.
Despite growing interest in university-to-industry technology transfer, there are very few studies on the governance of universities’ technology transfer offices (TTOs). The few existing ones tend to focus on US universities and generally tackle one dimension of governance. Schoen et al. (2013) contribute to the existing literature on TTOs in two ways. First, they take into account the diversity of organizational models with a theoretical perspective. Their paper presents a discussion on which combinations of four structural dimensions should yield viable configurations, namely classical TTO, autonomous TTO, discipline-integrated Technology Transfer Alliance and finally discipline-specialized Technology Transfer Alliance. Second, their paper relies on sixteen case studies of uni- versities located in six European countries in order to address the pros and cons of the four types of TTOs. Their results provide both a conceptual understanding and an empirical overview of how universities organize their technology transfer and intellectual property management. They conclude that measuring performance of TTOs without taking into account the governance characteristics and their degree of specialization may result in incorrect implications.
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Access to information is crucial for entrepreneurial discovery and exploitation of opportunities (Fiet and Patel 2008; Link et al. 2008). Firms with access to information are better placed to innovate and even to adopt appropriate technology, increase efficiency of applied R&D in industry, contribute to reducing the risks of mistaken entrepreneurial decisions, thus improving corporate competitiveness. Conversely, information constraints may be the main barrier to the adoption of innovations. Enterprises obtain information they need to improve innovation-related activities from a variety of internal and external sources, such as their own R&D departments, clients and in particular universities and public research organizations. Azagra-Caro et al. (2013) argue that it is important to understand what factors shape company perceptions of the usefulness of information provided. They first expand previous research on the importance on public knowledge to firms, which has been almost exclusively focused on innovators. Secondly, they inquire as to whether non-innovators also value public knowledge, and investigate antecedents associated to their perceptions of this specific source of information. Their second objective is particularly important because most previous analyses of the usefulness of innovation-related information, and more specifically, knowledge provided by universities and public research organizations focus mostly on innovators, single out radical innovators for analysis or do not distinguish between innovators and non-innovators. Azagra-Caro et al. (2013) provide a complementary view, arguing that it is profitable to differentiate factors associated with perceptions of public knowledge in companies which have practical experience of product or process innovation and companies which have not. Their theo- retical reasoning and empirical findings support that firm size, the skilling of the workforce and the abandonment of strategic innovation positively determine innovators’ perceptions, while the presence of an R&D department and market power positively determine non- innovators’ perceptions. Using a sample of 1,031 Spanish manufacturing firms, they conclude that practical experience in technological innovation enhances firms’ perceptions on the usefulness of public research, not directly but by enabling certain internal changes, i.e. it produces encounters between corporate choices and public research.
In recent decades encompassing technology and knowledge transfer—the third mission of universities—has come abreast of the two traditional tasks of universities, research and teaching. Rolfo and Finardi (2013) provide experimental evidence of the differences existing in such terms between a specialized technological university and a generalist, Humboldtian University. Their experimental study is performed on two Italian universities with similar formal structure and external environment, but with different specialization and research/teaching subjects. They exploit two databases—one agent-based, the second institutional-based—in order to highlight different organizations and attitudes. Their results might prove relevant for the organization of third mission activities with particular regard to technology transfer.
West (2013) provides a case study on solar energy. The use of solar energy to replace fossil fuels has held great promise for more than a century. For nearly as long, West argues, California entrepreneurs have sought to leverage that opportunity to create successful firms. These entrepreneurs as well as investors, policymakers and even the general public assumed that solar energy would bring the same sort of success as with the state’s other technology-based industries. However, firms failed to achieve sustained competitive advantage, due to premature entry, volatile demand, inability to create sustained techno- logical advantage and large-scale entry by foreign competitors in a commoditized global market. His paper begins with a brief review of locational factors for competitive advantage, and how those applied to the development of the state’s other major industries. West then examines technological, production, demand and policy factors in the three
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major segments of solar power technologies: hot water, turbine-powered electricity gen- eration and photovoltaic generation. He then analyzes commonalities and contrasts between the state’s industrial trajectories in these three technology segments, the state’s earlier industry successes and our understanding of the locational factors for competitive advantage. He concludes that, if today’s results are any indication, California firms will play a small role if any in the eventual global adoption of solar technologies. The shift to low-cost, high-efficiency manufacturing was long-anticipated by an industry that con- stantly attempted to increase scale and reduce cost. What was not predicted by anyone was the highly volatile nature of demand—nor the entry of well-financed Chinese rivals from a competing model of political economy.
3 Further research
The papers presented at the annual T2S 2011 conference as well as the studies included in this special issue suggests that several issues must be addressed by university adminis- trators, policy makers and firm managers to enhance the effectiveness of technology transfer and to cope with the challenges in a global economy. However, as mentioned by Wright (2013), further research is needed to broaden and enlarge our understanding of technology transfer in a global economy. On the policy level, there is a need for policies improving the functioning of markets and to overcome market failures and externalities, looking for actions the government can undertake to strengthen the capacity of established and entrepreneurial firms to compete in the global market. There is also a need for IPR related policies, balancing the diffusion of technology and knowledge on the one and providing incentives to innovate on the other hand. Recent patent wars among firms in the high-technology sector highlight this necessity, leading to prohibitive entry barriers for new and entrepreneurial firms in this sector. There remains also a paucity of evidence about different traditions and approaches of policy development in different countries (Mustar and Wright 2010) but also on the evaluation of existing policy programs and schemes to foster technology transfer and new venture creation (Siegel and Wessner 2012; Link and Scott 2012). Further, similar policies that have been successful in some countries like the Anglo-Saxon ones cannot feasibly be adopted in different European or OECD countries. In particular, there remains a paucity of evidence on the causes and conse- quences of innovation policy in countries like China, India or Russia with a stronger focus on governmental control and coordination of economic activities. Future research in these areas also needs to recognize that not all emerging economies have developed at the same rate. Some emerging economies have now become quite developed in terms of their infrastructure and institutional environment, others have become well-developed in terms of either infrastructure or institutional context but not both and so can be considered ‘‘mid- range’’ economies, while others have hardly developed at all or have even gone backwards (Hoskisson et al. 2012). These differences may have important implications for the nature of global technology and knowledge transfer that as yet remain to be explored but do emphasize the need for future studies to go beyond a simplistic dichotomy between developed and emerging economies.
Further research is also required to examine the role of informal university technology transfer (Grimpe and Fier 2010), the incentives of academics and scientists to cooperate with industry (D’Este and Perkmann 2011; Fritsch and Krabel 2012) and the role of intermediary structures within the technology transfer process such as advisers, incubators, coaches and financial intermediaries (Colombo et al. 2010). The need for an increased technology transfer in a global economy 309
focus on informal technology transfer is emphasized by the development beyond patent- able technology to incorporate new technological developments in ICT and similar areas. These new developments have profound implications for the roles of TTOs and venture capital firms who have traditionally geared up to focus on technology transfer involving hard IP. The role of informal technology transfer has particular resonance for research that compares different contexts. Global variations in both the institutional environment and the nature of technology being developed may mean that informal technology transfer has a greater role to play in some contexts rather than others. Informal technology transfer may be particularly important in emerging economies. Such economies may better able to compete in terms of the development of technology that does not require highly expensive laboratories and equipment because of shortcomings in their infrastructures and may be able to leap-frog developed economies in terms of technological advances that are not patentable. However, to the extent that there are problems with contract enforcement in emerging economies, there are implications regarding the ability of government and uni- versities to capture some of the benefits from technology transfer.
Overall, then, while examination of traditional technology transfer based on formal IP in many developed economies has become quite a mature topic, the growth of newer informal forms of technology and the emergence of a variety of economies entering the technology transfer arena opens up exciting and enticing prospects for future research on global technology transfer.
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