Technology transfer between research laboratories and industry: Measurement and evaluation

Tomi Laamanen, Erkko Autio

Research output: Book/ReportReport


The purpose of this study is to survey the existing literature on technology transfer, to present categorizations of the various technology transfer mechanisms, and to present criteria, indicators, and measures for the measurement of the effectiveness of technology transfer. The study focuses mainly on contract research and development projects, research and development consortia, and new technology based companies. In technology transfer research, two main categories can be identified. The traditional approach has focused on technology transfer between industrialized and developing countries. This approach can be labeled as: "developing country oriented technology transfer research". The modern approach to technology transfer research focuses on technology interchanges between various actors in the economy. This approach can be labeled as: "innovation oriented technology transfer research". This present study belongs to the latter category. Research on technology transfer at the national level is relatively immature. Many concepts are not yet generally accepted. The researchers are still trying to learn how to measure the quantity and the quality of technology transferred. In measuring technology transfer, several factors affecting the transfer should be taken into account. These are, for example, research institute oriented factors, industry oriented factors, national technological infrastructure, and the nature and the maturity of the technology transferred. In addition, the dimensions of the ways to transfer technology should be taken into account. An important distinction in the context of technology transfer indicators is the distinction between input output indicators and process indicators. It is argued that the traditional approach has tended to focus largely on input output indicators. It is suggested that process indicators should be given increased attention. It is proposed that in the evaluation of research, the recent developments in innovation research should be taken into account. It is suggested that further research is needed in order to develop indicators of parallel development processes taking place in various inter linked actors in the economy. It is also suggested that the evolutionary nature of technological development necessitates further research on applying non linear modeling methods on the simulation of technological development processes.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages89
ISBN (Print)951-38-4441-2
Publication statusPublished - 1993
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


  • technology transfer
  • innovation
  • industrial innovation
  • indicators
  • national systems of innovation
  • new
  • research and development
  • R & D consortia
  • contract research
  • technology-based companies
  • technology development


Dive into the research topics of 'Technology transfer between research laboratories and industry: Measurement and evaluation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this