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Title: Mobilizing technology transfer from university to industry : the experience of Hong Kong universities
Authors: Sharif, Naubahar
Baark, Erik
Keywords: Technology Transfer Office
Hong Kong
Innovation system
University-industry links
Knowledge transfer
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: Journal of technology management in China, v. 3, no. 1, 2008, p. 47-65
Abstract: Purpose The present paper seeks to illuminate the role played by university-based technology transfer offices (TTOs) in driving the transfer of research-based knowledge and technology from institutions of higher education to industry in Hong Kong. Methodology Following a literature review, the authors use empirical data on technology transfer and innovation, and case studies of existing TTOs at City University of Hong Kong (City U.) and Hong Kong University of Technology and Science (HKUST), to analyze and illustrate the changing nature of the role that TTOs have played in Hong Kong, from the late 1980s to the present. Findings The authors find that, while TTOs originally served primarily to generate additional revenues for their affiliated universities through the creation and commercialization of intellectual property, that role has gradually evolved to support innovative start-up companies through technology transfer. Limitations/Implications This study is limited in having included only two case studies. In the future more cases should be examined, not only of other spin-offs and start-ups from City U. and HKUST, but from other Hong Kong universities as well. The study implies that TTOs should continue to learn how to respond to the needs of start-ups through self-evaluation. Universities should better manage TTOs, and the government, through better understanding of the capacity of TTOs to create spin-offs, should develop policy measures that facilitate the process. Originality/value of contribution This study is among the first to examine the role of TTOs using a case-study approach, especially in addressing the relationship between university-industry linkages and the broader innovation system in Hong Kong.
Rights: Journal of Technology Management in China © copyright (2008) Emerald. The Journal's web site is located at
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