Focusing on responses from 229 companies that have worked with federal laboratories, the study examines companies' objectives and initial motivations for technical interaction between companies and federal laboratories. Companies come to the federal laboratories for many reasons: some try to enhance their training and human capital, others to build precompetitive knowledge not likely to show a quick return, and still others to avail themselves of unique lab facilities or seek technical assistance. One implication of these findings is that the traditional view of technology transfer may distort the nature of commercially relevant technical interactions, particularly in an era characterized by rampant “metricmania.” Any assessment of company-laboratory interactions failing to take into account the multiple objectives of many different technical interactions is likely to hinder as much as it helps.
Bozeman, B., & Papadakis, M. (1995). Company interactions with federal laboratories: What they do and why they do it. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 20(3-4), 64-74