Returns to University Biotech-Transfer Programs

21 September 2006 at 3:52 pm Leave a comment

| Peter Klein |

The Milken Institute has released a new study, “Mind to Market: A Global Analysis of University Biotechnology Transfer and Commercialization.” The study ranks the biotech-transfer programs of North American, European, and Asian universities by a variety of critera. Some general findings:

  • Among U.S., Canadian and European universities, the United States leads in invention disclosures, patents filed and granted, licenses executed and licensing income. However, European universities surpass their U.S. counterparts in startups established.
  • Research activity has a high rate of return. Each 10-point increase in our research papers score contributes an additional $1.7 million in annual licensing income.
  • Investments into offices of technology transfer (OTT) also offer high returns. For every $1 invested in OTT staff, the university receives a little more than $6 of licensing income.

I’m not sure what explains the US-European differences. Incidentally, there are healthy and robust literatures on technology transfer from both transaction-cost and resource-based perspectives. I recommend in particular the work of Rachelle Sampson, Janet Bercovitz, and Joanne Oxley (all of whom were influenced by David Teece’s pioneering papers in this area).

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Strategic Management, Theory of the Firm.

Integrating Hirschman and TCE Evidence That Demands A Verdict

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