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TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND UNIVERSITIES: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

Technology transfer (TT) may be defined generally as “the transfer of the results of research from universities to the commercial sector” [1]. TT programs are important to the academic institutions’ mission of education, research, and public service. Indeed, as highlighted in the literature [2], they provide a series of benefits for universities. To cite only some of these benefits, they allow universities a mechanism for important research results to be transferred to the public, represent a mean to faculty and inventors in dealing with industry arrangements and technology transfer issues, and provide a marketing tool to attract students, faculty, and external research funding. Due to the importance of TT in general and within universities in particular, we thus believe that a more general understanding of university–industry relationship may be useful.

Based on these premises, the purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of TT within universities. Specifically, it focuses on synthesizing the more relevant research available in the literature to establish both what the authors know and do not know about this topic, thus identifying areas for future research. The research is based on a review of published papers on TT and universities available on the Web of Science (WoS) database, performed using BibExcel and Gephi. The authors have identified the most influential works based on citations and as well as the major clusters that provide potential opportunities for future investigation. The results may help researchers and practitioners to be aware of the benefits of TT within universities, and provide valuable insights.