Building Innovative Ecosystems
Edited by John Sibley Butler and David V. Gibson
Chapter 13: The Experience in the United States: A University Perspective
Patricia G. Greene and Mark P. Rice 1 INTRODUCTION The consistent overarching motivation for technology transfer activities is the betterment of society; in an ideal sense, the technology is intended to improve the life of individuals and/or organizations. From a university’s perspective, which is the focus of this chapter, a programmatic or at least a systematic approach to technology transfer is intended to contribute to that societal betterment with concern for the benefit of the university as a close second (AUTM, 2008a). In an era of decreasing public and private funds to support postsecondary education, technology transfer activities are likely to become yet more important as a potential source of support to underwrite other university activities that need to be subsidized. More specifically, many institutions around the world look to technology transfer as a method of creating, or at least enhancing, opportunities for moving technology from the developer of that technology into the market. Over the years, the primary stakeholders have included the federal government, universities, and industries. The motivations, practices, policies, and funding models have changed over time to reflect various endogenous and exogenous factors. The 2009 IC2 Fellows workshop, ‘Global Perspectives on Technology Transfer and Commercialization’, on technology transfer practices around the world show the ever-increasing scale and scope of technology transfer activities, complete with a variety of evolving approaches. This chapter will provide an overview of the practice of technology transfer in the United States in order to provide a point of comparison and learning for the...
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