Andrea Biagiotti

Organizing Valorization of Knowledge: Technology Transfer Offices and University Strategies Facing an Emerging Challenge

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Agency of University; Technology Transfer; University Development; Innovation; Organizational Isomorphism.

In the debate on regional development a growing attention has turned to the role that universities can play in favoring the competitiveness of the territories. Among the activities of the universities, those intentionally aimed at technological transfer represent an interesting context for detecting organizational transformations and the creation of new organizational articulations: the Offices for Technology Transfer. Comparing two case studies, the article shows how formal similitudes hide important differences in the functioning of these Offices. Although the pressures coming from the national university system and from the field of technological transfer push for a convergence of this type of Offices, other elements affect their management determining significant differences. The actual role of these Offices depends on the configuration of the processes of technological transfer in the different universities. We thus show how the existence of a richer and more complex architecture of technology-transfer oriented structures has weakened the Office in one case. In the other case, a more organic insertion in the existing structures has favored its specialization and operational capacity. Both cases show how the actual processes of technology transfer precede and exceed those managed by the offices. A complex organizational architecture supports these processes and conditions the substantial contribution that the Technology Transfer Offices can provide.

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