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A Comparison of Technology Transfer Processes and Policies at an International Level. Evidence from the Aerospace Industry

The purpose of the dissertation is the identification of best practices & key-factors in successful technology transfer and the model-building of technology transfer processes from basic and applied research to commercialization involving R&D organizations to industrial firms within the context of European aerospace research.
Technology transfer is one of the main processes linking developers (transferors) and users (transferees) of technological innovation, leading to a better understanding of how the results of research and development investments can be turned into marketable products, hence to the creation of new business opportunities and economic value. Technology transfer is in this work intended as the movement of technology and results from research organizations to private firms in industry.
The first part of the dissertation, starting from the description of technological innovation, describes the technology transfer process and the mechanisms involving moving a technological innovation from an R&D organization to a receptor organization. The purpose is a better understanding, within the technological innovation process from basic research all the way to applied research, development and commercialization, of how the results of research expenditures become new products commercialized in the market. Technology transfer is described as a key-factor to enhancing innovation, creating value and stimulating competitive advantage. It is part of corporate business strategy aiming at value creation linked to the strategic notion of gaining and maintaining “competitive advantage”. Three key-elements for successful technology transfer from research organizations to companies are described: the supportive role of national government policies (through legislative issues, the creation of technology transfer infrastructures, research, technology and innovation funding programs), the strategic importance of intellectual property protection, and commercialization or the conversion of an idea from research into a product or service for sale in the marketplace.
The second part of the dissertation, examines innovation and technology transfer policies and programs implemented within the aerospace industry by examining seven European Aerospace Research Centres (CIRA, INTA, ONERA, NLR, VZLU) and four Space Agencies (ESA, NASA, ASI, DLR) and a private company QinetiQ. The description of each aerospace research organization, consists of a preliminary short corporate profile followed by details of the standardized processes and policies implemented both within (IPR) and outside the organizations, to promote and support technology transfer.
A multi-case analysis then follows, where technology transfer processes and mechanisms within three space agencies (ASI, ESA, DLR), three aerospace research centers (CIRA, NLR, ONERA), and one private firm in Europe operating in the security and defense markets (QinetiQ) are compared.
Information on aerospace research centers and government agencies has been acquired on the basis of both desk research utilizing published literature and documents of the observed organizations and field research based on a semi-structured questionnaire and one-to-one interviews with top level managers (with decision-making positions) directly involved in the definition and implementation of technology transfer programs. Case studies are illustrated on the basis of the information acquired through both desk and field research in European aerospace research organizations. Spin-out examples include the automotive, energy, engineering, environment management, fitness, medicine, safety and security, textiles sectors.
The last chapter describes some of the key-factors of success identified for successful technology transfer from an R&D organization to industry on the basis of both hard data (literature review) and survey data (interviews based on a semi-structured questionnaire). The identified key-factors of success represent the basis for the construction of a new model of technology transfer processes from research centers to industrial firms.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
10 1. TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION 1.1. Introduction to the dynamic factors shaping innovation; 1.2. Science and Technology; 1.3. Technological innovation; 1.4. Technological patterns; 1.5. Technological evolution and the market. This chapter introduces the concept of innovation as central in our ‘knowledge economy’ for the production of output and economic growth within both the microeconomic and macroeconomic settings. It explores then, through a review of modern economic literature, the notions of ‘technology’ and of ‘technological innovation’, and subsequently focuses on the patterns in the creation of technological innovations and the linkages with the market. 1.1. Introduction to the dynamic factors shaping innovation Throughout centuries from stone-age to space-age, economy has always been knowledge-based and innovation-based. Within the knowledge-based economy innovation plays a central role. What is different at the present time compared to the past, is the speed of change (rapid evolving technologies) and the awareness of the importance of innovation in the logic of progress and the logic of differentiation in the competitive game in which the best-performers are those players striving to achieve and maintain better results than the other players. Research and Development (R&D) activities are key-factors in the creation of innovation, thereby creating and strengthening competitive advantage to achieve sustainable growth. Sobrero (2003) traces innovation back to strategy, in particular to Henderson’s definition who links it to the key-concepts of the creation of competitive advantage and positioning: “Strategy is a deliberate search for an action plan which enables the development a business’s competitive advantage and to substantiate it. For any company, the search is an iterative process that begins with the recognition of where you are and what you have now [=positioning]. (…) To grow and to prosper, however, you must expand the market in which you can maintain an

Tesi di Dottorato

Dipartimento: Facoltà di Economia

Autore: Phyllis De Stavola Contatta »

Composta da 300 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 635 click dal 24/06/2010.


Consultata integralmente 3 volte.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.