Title: Technology transfer from Japanese universities to pharmaceutical companies

Authors: Edward B. Roberts, Michiru Fukuda

Addresses: Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA 02142, USA. ' Chugai Pharmaceutical Company, Tokyo, 104-8301 Japan 1–9, Kyobashi 2-chome, Chvo-Ku

Abstract: Technology transfer activity is changing dramatically in Japan. More discoveries and inventions, achieved by public sector researchers, have been patented and commercialised. In order to increase technology transfer, especially from its universities, the Japanese government has drastically changed its policies. Drug development technologies have advanced dramatically during the past few years, primarily in regard to the biotechnology-linked sciences such as genetics and bioinformatics. Pharmaceutical companies need to catch up with these rapid changes and to maintain their competitive edge, supplementing their internal R&D with external technology acquisition. In particular, technology transfer from academic researchers is potentially much more important in this industry than in any other industry. This paper examines the process of technology transfer from Japanese universities to pharmaceutical companies, identifies the numerous changes in practice that have recently occurred due to shifts in governmental policy, and provides insights to improved practice from a pilot study of academic researchers.

Keywords: biotechnology; Japan; pharmaceuticals; technology transfer; Japanese universities; pharmaceutical industry; government policy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2004.005082

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2004 Vol.3 No.3, pp.243 - 262

Published online: 26 Aug 2004 *

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