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B. Bigliardi1, K. Venturini2, C. Verbano3

1University of Parma, Industrial Engineering Department (ITALY)
2San Marino State University, Department of Economy and Technology (SAN MARINO)
3University of Padua, Department of Management and Engineering (ITALY)
In today’s competitive market, organizations, regardless their nature (that is, universities or industrial companies) are increasingly aware of the need to exchange the technologies, experience and knowledge they have developed in order to access new markets and revenue streams, as well as they recognise the need to acquire new technologies and knowledge from the external environment in order to exploit their ideas and create new products. Technology transfer is defined as the process of using technology, expertise, know-how or facilities for a purpose not originally intended by the developing organisation. In other words, technology transfer (TT) implies that a technology developed for one industry is then used in a totally different one. Among all, the transfer of space technology is recognised to be complex even if increasingly adopted: space technologies can for example be adopted for healthcare products, improved waste management and water recovery, as well as by manufacturers. Notwithstanding, the technological innovation literature has paid still little attention to this issue, in particular to the TT process into non-space areas from the space sector. For a successful process of TT, it is fundamental to determine the factors that may determine this process and in particular those factors that determine its success. In order to fill the gap identified in literature, the present study investigates the determinants of TT, with the final aim to develop a general model of transfer path suitable for the specific industry. With this purpose in mind, we adopted a multiple case-study based research, specifically we interviewed 2 Italian companies as transferring or receiving subjects, that involved also Italian organizations operating in the space industry, as for example CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) and ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana).