Edited by David B. Audretsch, Isabel Grilo and A. Roy Thurik
Chapter 10: Quantitative and Qualitative Studies of University Technology Transfer: Synthesis and Policy Recommendations
Donald S. Siegel Introduction In the late 1970s, US universities were often criticized for being more adept at developing new technologies than facilitating their commercial use in the private sector (General Accounting Oﬃce, 1998). More speciﬁcally, some policy makers asserted that the long lag between the discovery of new knowledge at the university and its use by domestic ﬁrms had signiﬁcantly weakened the global competitiveness of American ﬁrms (Marshall, 1985). In 1980, the US Congress attempted to remove potential obstacles to university technology transfer by passing the Bayh–Dole Act. Bayh–Dole instituted a uniform patent policy across federal agencies, removed many restrictions on licensing, and allowed universities to own patents arising from federal research grants. The framers of this legislation asserted that university ownership and management of intellectual property would accelerate the commercialization of new technologies and promote economic development and entrepreneurial activity. It appears that the legacy of Bayh–Dole is quite dramatic. In the aftermath of this legislation, research universities in the US established technology transfer oﬃces (TTOs) to manage and protect their intellectual property. TTOs facilitate commercial knowledge transfers through the licensing to industry of inventions or other forms of intellectual property resulting from university research. The rate of technology commercialization has increased substantially. The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), which represents licensing oﬃcers at universities and other research institutions, reported in 2004 that annual measures of university patenting, licensing activity, and startup formation have all increased more than tenfold...
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