Organizational Science
Online ISSN : 2187-932X
Print ISSN : 0286-9713
ISSN-L : 0286-9713
A Hands-on Model of Technology Transfer―Examining Conditions for Successful University/Industry Technology Transfer in Japan
Yuki HayashiTakayuki SakaiJin-ichiro Yamada
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2022 Volume 55 Issue 4 Pages 67-79


As shown in the AUTM’s lifecycle model, technology transfer from universities to the private sector is one major pathway to commercializing scientific discoveries. However, few empirical studies have analyzed the relationship between the characteristics of a technology transfer process and commercializing performance. Considering technology transfer as a management phenomenon, this is a significant gap to be filled.
Using micro-level data from 39 technology transfer projects, we analyzed the causal conditions that made new products based on university-originated inventions launched to the market. In addition, a crisp-set qualitative comparative analysis (csQCA) focused on the range of value chains and the valueadding activities of licensing associates belonging to the Japanese technology transfer offices (TTOs). This analysis reveals that the combination of elaborate pre-marketing before a patent application and boundary spanning on product development stage is the key enabler of technology commercialization in Japan.
Our findings suggest that a technology transfer model suited to the Japanese context is different from what is commonly expected in the United States, often referred to as a “marketing model.” Therefore, we name the new model“ hands-on model.” Furthermore, a unique approach is required because of the differences in the national innovation ecosystems between these countries.

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