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TTO's staff and technology transfer: Examining the effect of employees' individual capabilities

Thiago J. Soares and Ana L.V. Torkomian

Technovation, 2021, vol. 102, issue C

Abstract: Despite the attention technology transfer offices (TTOs) have received in previous studies, the question of how they should recruit and train an appropriate mix of employees remains unanswered. In fact, surprisingly little is known about the ways in which TTOs’ employees affect technology transfer (TT) activities. This study helps to fill this gap by exploring how TT officers with specific capabilities (those that are research-oriented, marketing-oriented, and legal-oriented) affect the early and late stages of the technology transfer process. We argue that, throughout that process, the different kinds of capabilities have specific roles and importance in TT outcomes. Our results suggest that employees with research-oriented capabilities positively affect the number of both invention disclosures and licensing agreements concluded by universities. In contrast, we find that TTO professionals with marketing-oriented capabilities have a positive effect on licensing, but no influence on the number of disclosures. Finally, TTO staff with legal-oriented capabilities appear to have no effect on either the number of invention disclosures or licenses concluded. In addition to contributing to the incipient literature on the impact of TTO employees, we believe that these findings have the potential to help university managers strategically develop TTO staff aiming at specific outcomes.

Keywords: Technology transfer; Capabilities; University research commercialization; Technology transfer offices (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.technovation.2020.102213

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