Universities, technology transfer and industrial R&D.

G. Graff, A. Heiman, D. Zilberman, F. Castillo, D. Parker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Some of the most important innovations to emerge in recent years - which have transformed whole industries, particularly in the areas of biotechnology (transforming medicine and agriculture) and information technology (transforming computing and communications) - were the result of research conducted in universities and public sector institutions. Many of these institutions have recently established Offices of Technology Transfer (OTTs) that aim to manage their intellectual property and to commercialize some of their research products. Technology transfer has meant more than just the licensing of patents: substantial numbers of university researchers have migrated to private industry, establishing start-up companies. This chapter provides a perspective on the economic forces at work in the transfer of technology from publicly funded research to commercial use. It provides an overview of the differences and the relationships between public and private research and then introduces, interprets and analyses results from several recent surveys of OTT operations and results. Finally, it draws implications for public policy makers, university administrators and company managers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEconomic and social issues in agricultural biotechnology
Place of PublicationWallingford
PublisherCABI Publishing
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780851996189
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Author Affiliation: Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, 201 Giannini Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-3310, USA.


  • biotechnology
  • commercialization
  • constraints
  • government research
  • incentives


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