Spin-off companies as agents of technology transfer: An empirical study of the spin-off companies of the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)

Erkko Autio

Research output: Book/ReportReport

Abstract

Spin-off companies constitute one important technology transfer channel between technical research institutes and their environment. Such companies thus constitute an important element of national systems of innovation. The technology transfer effects of companies spun off from technological research have only rarely been systematically analyzed. The objectives of this study are, first, to summarize the existing knowledge on the indicators used in measuring the technology transfer effects of new, technology-based companies; second, to empirically test various indicators of technology transfer on one exemplary sample of new, technology-based companies; third, to develop a model to depict the technology transfer effects of new, technology-based companies during the early stages of their life cycle; fourth, using the model and the indicators, analyze the technology transfer effects of new, technology-based companies; and fifth, to present recommendations for further research on new, technology-based companies. This present study expands the scope of analysis over the early life cycle of a new, technology-based company. For this purpose, a three stage model depicting the technology transfer effects of new, technology-based companies is developed. The empirical sample of this present study consists of 35 companies spun off from the technical research centre of finland. The empirical data is gathered in personal interviews of the founders of the companies. In the interviews, structured questionnaires are used. The empirical sample of this present study suggests that at least three phases of technology transfer can be distinguished in the early life cycle of a new, technology-based company. These phases are initial technology transfer phase, technology development phase, and technology commercialization phase. Each of the three phases is dominated by different factors. In order to evaluate the role of new, technology-based companies in the economy, a new concept is developed. The concept of utility function refers to the core market need addressed by the company. In the empirical part of this present study, a tentative classification of utility functions of new, technology-based companies is proposed and tested.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages159
ISBN (Print)951-38-4389-0
Publication statusPublished - 1993
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Publications
Number151
ISSN1235-0621

Keywords

  • new
  • technology-based companies
  • technology transfer
  • innovation
  • industrial innovation
  • national systems of innovation
  • companies
  • life cycles
  • technology development
  • research and development
  • commerce
  • Finland

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