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Are researchers deliberately bypassing the technology transfer office? An analysis of TTO awareness

Huyghe, A., Knockaert, M., Piva, E. & Wright, M. (2016). Are researchers deliberately bypassing the technology transfer office? An analysis of TTO awareness. Small Business Economics, 47(3), pp. 589-607. doi: 10.1007/s11187-016-9757-2


Most universities committed to the commercialization of academic research have established technology transfer offices (TTOs). Nonetheless, many researchers bypass these TTOs and take their inventions directly to the marketplace. While TTO bypassing has typically been portrayed as deliberate and undesirable behavior, we argue that it could be unintentional as many researchers may simply be unaware of the TTO’s existence. Taking an information-processing perspective and using data on 3250 researchers in 24 European universities, we examine researcher attributes associated with TTO awareness. Our evidence confirms that only a minority of researchers are aware of the existence of a TTO at their university. TTO awareness is greater among researchers who possess experience as entrepreneurs, closed many research and consulting contracts with industry partners, conduct research in medicine, engineering or life sciences, or occupy postdoctoral positions. Policy implications of these findings are discussed.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
Publisher Keywords: TTO Awareness, TTO Bypassing, Information-processing, Knowledge Corridor, Entrepreneurial Universities
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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