Evaluating the influence of university organizational characteristics and attributes on technology commercialization Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Goble, Lisa Ann
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Public Policy
  • This dissertation project seeks to make a contribution to the growing body of literature on academic technology commercialization and the entrepreneurial efforts of faculty and students at US research universities. The academic environment across the United States has seen an increased emphasis on moving the results of academic research into the commercial sector. In addition to their core missions of education and basic research, universities are expected to have a larger role in stimulating regional and national economies. This dissertation project contributes to this growing body of literature on university technology commercialization efforts by summarizing findings on characteristics and factors known to have an influence technology transfer outcomes, evaluating a technology licensing consortium between three large research institutions, and empirically evaluating specific university and technology licensing office characteristics for their influence on the technology transfer process and its outcomes. Three related research studies contribute to this project. The motivating framework, background and context for the three research projects in this dissertation are presented in an introductory chapter. The literature review in Chapter 2 summarizes findings from a selection of studies evaluating characteristics and attributes of US universities, their technology licensing offices (TLOs), and regions that have an influence upon a university's involvement in technology commercialization efforts. Findings are summarized for how various characteristics influence the technology transfer process, invention disclosure from faculty, and subsequent licensing and startup formation form US research universities. Chapter 3 presents a case study of an early technology licensing consortium between three North Carolina universities: Duke University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University during 1988-1995. This consortium facilitated a growing entrepreneurial culture, increased patenting and technology licensing activities at each campus, and enabled the successful licensing of several academic inventions. In Chapter 4, an empirical analysis utilizes survey data from 76 universities to review potential correlations between university organizational and TLO characteristics and the metrics commonly reported by US research universities engaged in technology transfer. This research fills a gap in the literature by evaluating the potential influence TLO organizational reporting structure and characteristics of the TLO director may have on the technology commercialization efforts and outcomes of US research institutions. Chapter 5 integrates the general findings from the three projects, and outlines the significance of those findings for how characteristics of the university and TLO influence the technology transfer process and its outcomes. Implications and recommendations for university administrators and for policy development within the US university environment and their economic regions are discussed in this final chapter.
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  • In Copyright
  • Feldman, Maryann
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2013

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