Title: Technology transfer practice in Japanese corporations: meeting new service requirements

Authors: Peter D. Holden, Fumiya Konishi

Addresses: Competitive Technologies, Inc., 1465 Post Road East, Westport, Connecticut 06881, USA. Innovation Partners, kk, Japan

Abstract: Japanese corporations are undergoing radical transition they have begun to reassess the role, organisation and management of their internal R&D and technology commercialisation activities in response to changing market, business and technical conditions. From large consumer electronics firms such as Matsushita and Sony, to the semiconductor and computing conglomerates such as Fujitsu and NEC, these organisations are under considerable pressure both to invent and innovate more rapidly, cheaply and yet more uniquely than ever before. As technologies become more complex and integrated - such as the convergence of electronics, computing, video and broadcast television - it is no longer practical to assume that all a firm|s R&D needs can be met internally. This paper looks firstly at how major Japanese corporations have embraced technology transfer mechanisms such as licensing, joint collaboration and the outsourcing of R&D to manage these changes dynamically and effectively. Secondly, this paper looks at why Japanese firms| record of managing, collaboration and licensing, particularly on an international basis, has been disappointing because of a number of problems and barriers which are described below. These difficulties, which are compounded by the further externationalisation of research and technology and increased licensing activity, have given rise to a need for new technology transfer services which, until recently, have not been available either within the organisation or through local consulting firms in Japan. This paper concludes by outlining strategic and operational guidelines for managing licensing and collaboration arrangements between US and Japanese firms, which are also applicable in general. These insights are based on the experiences of managing licensing and collaboration programmes between Japanese and US organisations from the dual perspectives of two licensing firms - Innovation Partners, kk. in Japan and Competitive Technologies, Inc. of the USA.

Keywords: technology transfer; Japan; USA; problems and barriers; service requirements.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2000.001574

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2000 Vol.1 No.2/3, pp.209-223

Available online: 14 Dec 2003 *

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