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Publication | 28 March 2019

Technology Transfer from research to impact

This note seeks to provide a cursory overview of the technology transfer field including its delineation, historical background, organisation, development, and associated policy.

The term knowledge transfer is frequently used in the context of, or indeed instead of, technology transfer, but there are several reasons for seeing them as separate, although interrelated, concepts. In organisational theory, knowledge transfer refers to the flow of virtually all knowledge in an organisation and the attempts to create, capture and manage that knowledge. In turn technology transfer specifically refers to the conveying of results stemming from publicly funded scientific and technological research to the market place and to wider society, along with associated skills and procedures, and is as such an intrinsic part of the technological innovation process. Technology transfer therefore is a decidedly specific subset of knowledge transfer, with proprietary and particular means of functioning and progressing.

JRC activities are strictly concerned with the process of support to conveying research results to the market place and to society as a whole, and thus the international trade aspect is outside the institutional scope. In international trade technology transfer indicates the action of transferring a technology from one geographical area to another – mainly from capital intensive countries to those of low intensity and without R&D activities – and issues that emerge alongside such transfer.

Technology Transfer from research to impact
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