Assessing the effectiveness of technology transfer from U.S. government R&D laboratories: impact of market orientation


This study, based on a national survey of U.S. government laboratories, assesses the degree of success laboratories have had in transferring technology to industry, taking into account the laboratories' differing receptivity to market influences. Three success criteria are considered here, two based on self-evaluations and a third based on the number of technology licenses issued from the laboratory. The two self-evaluations are rooted in different types of effectiveness, "getting technology out the door," in one case, and, in the other, having a demonstrable commercial impact. A core hypothesis of the study is that the two types of effectiveness will be responsive to different factors and, in particular, the laboratories with a clearer market orientation will have a higher degree of success on the commercial impact and technology license criteria. Overall, the results seem to suggest that multi-faceted, multi-mission laboratories are likely to enjoy the most success in technology transfer, especially if they have relatively low levels of bureaucratization and either ties to industry (particularly direct financial ties) or a commercial orientation in the selection of projects.

Full Paper

Bozeman, B., & Coker, K. (1992). Assessing the effectiveness of technology transfer from US government R&D laboratories: the impact of market orientation. Technovation12(4), 239-255.