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The role of university Knowledge Transfer Offices: Not just commercialize research outputs!

Ruoying Zhou and Puay Tang

Technovation, 2020, vol. 90-91

Abstract: While there is a prevailing rich body of studies on the role of university knowledge transfer office (KTO) in the commercialization process as part of the Third Mission, research on its role in community engagement activities is relatively neglected, even as funding agencies and policy makers conceive these as instrumental to sustaining social and economic development. This article focuses on the role of university KTO in supporting, facilitating or undertaking Third Mission community engagement activities. Drawing on data from the annual Higher Education Business and Community Interaction survey for the years 2007–2012, this paper empirically explores the relationship between a range of Third Mission activities by university KTO and performance of three key business-community services – provision of consultancy, provision of continuous professional development courses (CPD), and leasing of facilities and equipment (FE). It emerges that the routines of developing strategic plan and creating spin-off are positively associated with all types of community knowledge transfer (CKT) activities. Further, the routines of establishing partnerships with local and regional bodies, and licensing are positively related to CPD and FE, respectively. The article is concluded with implications for theory, practice, policy, and suggestions for future research.

Keywords: Third mission; Commercialization of academic research; Community engagement activities; Knowledge transfer office; Routines; Higher education institutions; Universities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:techno:v:90-91:y:2020:i::s0166497217307897

DOI: 10.1016/j.technovation.2019.102100

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