A key component in the success of industrial firms is the extent of their innovativeness. In recent decades, as a result of intense international competition, fragmented and demanding markets and rapidly changing technologies, innovation has become one of the most relevant factors for firms.
Going back to the roots, Schumpeter hypothesised the linear view of the innovation process, while in today’s competitive markets there is evidence that the majority of commercially signiﬁcant innovation is actually incremental in nature, involving the development, application and re-application of existing knowledge with little or no scientiﬁc advance. Evolutionary models of the innovation process, in particular, suggest the potential importance of inter-ﬁrm networks as sources of new technical knowledge, in addition to an enterprise’s own R&D effort.
Thus, organisations recognise the need to acquire new technologies and knowledge from the external environment in order to compete and survive, as well as to exchange technologies, experience and knowledge they have developed in order to access new markets and revenue streams. In other words, companies recognise the importance of the “technology transfer” process. Through this technology transfer process, industrial companies improve their competitiveness and society as a whole can benefit from the innovations introduced into the market, justifying public investments in R&D.
The extant literature has identified a number of actors involved in this process, among them the subject who transfers the technology, the subject who receives the technology and a third-party transfer facilitator. The transferring actor may be a small firm, a medium/large firm, a research laboratory or an engineering company. The receiving actor (i.e. the final customer of the TT process) is usually a small or a large firm. Finally, the facilitator actor may be represented by universities and research centres, technological brokers, scientific parks, etc., whose main task is precisely that of facilitating the integration between the two firms involved and playing a neutral role controlling their behaviour. In fact, a fundamental role in the innovation process is played by universities and public research centres responsible for developing knowledge and technologies, so that industrial companies are able to incorporate this new knowledge and technology into new (or improved) products and processes.
Based on the premises above, the purpose of this special issue is to contribute to filling the gaps identified in the extant literature.
We encourage multidisciplinary, theoretical and empirical studies at the intersection of the technology transfer and innovation fields of research, related to (but not limited to) the following topics:
- Design and models of technology transfer: from strategy to implementation
- Technology and innovation policy frameworks
- Technology transfer and innovation: the importance of intellectual property
- Technology transfer and regional economies
- University-industry technology transfer
- Academic and industrial spin-offs
- The role of scientific parks as facilitators for the commercialisation of innovative results
- Technology transfer in low-intensity research industries
- Technology transfer and innovation in SMEs
- Technology transfer and innovation: their implications for organisational structure
- Intrafirm technology transfer: organisational and managerial issues
Paper submission deadline: 30 June, 2013 (extended)
Notification to Authors: 20 September, 2013
Final papers due (with any changes): 31 October, 2013
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