Title: Assessing the relative technology transfer performance of universities and public research laboratories: the case of Italy

Authors: Giovanni Abramo; Fabio Pugini

Addresses: National Research Council of Italy, Piazzale Aldo Moro, 7, 00185 Roma, Italy; Laboratory for Studies on Research and Technology Transfer (RTT), Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Impresa, Facoltà di Ingegneria, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Via del Politecnico 1, 00133 Roma, Italy. ' Laboratory for Studies on Research and Technology Transfer (RTT), Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Impresa, Facoltà di Ingegneria, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Via del Politecnico 1, 00133 Roma, Italy

Abstract: This paper presents the results of an empirical survey on the licensing performance of Italian universities, in the period 1999 to 2003. The findings of the survey are then compared with those emerging from a previous work on the main public research organisation in Italy, the National Research Council (CNR). The results show the universities| licensing performance to be 50% lower than that of the CNR. We then carry out a qualitative exploration of the environmental and organisational contexts of the two research systems, evaluating likely reasons that may explain the performance gap. We prove that the universities| average patent portfolio, smaller in size with respect to that of the CNR, influenced the licensing performance gap. The performances of both the universities and the CNR are also contrasted with those of other foreign research systems, namely the US, Canadian and British ones, in the aggregate form.

Keywords: patents; licensing; technology transfer; universities; public research laboratories; Italy; university research; USA; United States; Canada; UK; United Kingdom; performance evaluation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2012.043912

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2012 Vol.11 No.1/2, pp.51 - 69

Available online: 22 Nov 2011 *

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