Towards a novel technology transfer office typology and recommendations for developing countries

Felicia M. Fai, Christle de Beer, Corne S.L. Schutte

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Potentially, technology transfer offices (TTOs) can play a significant role in facilitating the successful transfer of technologies and knowledge between universities and industry. Many developing countries are currently developing technology transfer practices within their universities. However, many developing country TTOs operate inefficiently or are ineffective. The sharing of experiences can lead to improvements in this endeavour. Advanced nations can serve as a frame of reference and a basis of policy recommendations for developing countries due to the longevity of their technology transfer activities. The authors issued 234 questionnaires to European university TTOs, of which 54 usable questionnaires were returned. They combine the data from these questionnaires with 19 interviews conducted with university TTO staff from 9 countries in an attempt to create a typology of practices that developing nations could emulate to improve technology transfer in their own contexts. While ultimately a clear typology was not forthcoming, the authors found some relationship between the dominant focus in the mission statement of developed country TTOs, the activities they undertake, their position in the university governance structure and their level of maturity which may usefully inform the development of TTO practices in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-225
Number of pages13
JournalIndustry and Higher Education
Issue number4
Early online date19 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Developing countries
  • knowledge transfer
  • mission statement
  • technology transfer office
  • typology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Education


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