4.5 Technology transfer
In this ‘pull or push’ tension, depending on the technology and its state of development, technology transfer activities are viewed as a way to bridge the gap between research and market, transferring ideas from researchers and inventors to private sector companies that might develop them commercially.
There are a number of ‘marriage bureaux’ – commercial organisations who collect ideas from the invention/R & D stage (e.g. from individuals, universities, companies) and offer them to potential investors and other companies for full scale development. Rather than simply providing financial support for development, ‘technology transfer’ of this type essentially relies on communicating ideas to potential backers, sometimes by helping people to transfer (e.g. from university to industry and vice versa). Either way, the basic idea is thus dissemination of ideas.
In parallel, some companies have become involved with Science Parks – commercial innovation centres usually established near Universities, intended in theory at least to commercialise ideas emerging from academic research (You will study some examples of these in unit 4 when looking at research methods).