Title: Moving technology from labs to market: a policy perspective

Authors: Robert Premus

Addresses: Department of Economics, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45435, USA

Abstract: In the 1980s, the USA initiated a set of policy innovations to encourage industrial innovation. Collectively, the policy innovations encouraged collaborative R&D in industry, technology transfer from universities and government laboratories to the private sector and cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) between government laboratories and industrial researchers. Patent and antitrust laws were revised and updated to afford inventors and industrial researchers greater protection of their intellectual property rights. These initiatives, along with tax credits, small business innovative research grants and the deployment of numerous university and government manufacturing research and extension centres, have been followed by a resurgence in US patent and industry funded research activities. The process by which the innovations are introduced and diffused throughout industry is examined in detail. The speed and direction of the diffusion path is found to be a function of the degree of complexity of the technology, the strategic behaviour of firms and the experience and core competencies and endowments of the firms. Since these factors differ among the firms, it is argued that adoption rates will vary by type of firm and by industry. Three case studies of start-up companies trying to commercialise environmentally friendly technologies are discussed. The case studies illustrate some of the challenges and problems of the entrepreneur|s role in the innovation process. The role of the government in helping to stimulate the growth of environmentally friendly firms and industries is also discussed.

Keywords: technology transfer; technology diffusion; environmentally friendly technology; cooperative research and development; technology policy innovations; industrial innovation; global competitiveness.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2002.001775

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2002 Vol.1 No.1/2, pp.22-39

Published online: 18 Aug 2003 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article