The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 577–587 | Cite as

Technology transfer contracts between R&D labs and commercial partners: choose your words wisely

  • Richard M. Franza
  • Kevin P. Grant
  • W. Austin Spivey


Our study is motivated by the problems encountered by external collaborators, particularly those between research and development laboratories and commercial partners, when writing technology transfer contracts. Kruskal–Wallis one-way nonparametric Analyses of Variance are used to analyze Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) from a national, Department of Defense laboratory in the United States of America. The CRADA information elements serve as the independent variables for the study. Benefits accrued by the laboratory serve as the dependent variable. The results highlight the link between information asymmetry and technology transfer and the connection between benefits obtained and contract specificity. Quantifying royalty streams in the CRADA increases the likelihood of achieving of these royalty payments. Too much contract detail may boomerang: limiting laboratory image enhancement, harming employee morale, and impeding efficient and effective laboratory management. Always, technology transfer involves a bargain: a contract where tacit knowledge must be nurtured and the amount of specificity managed.


Federal laboratories Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) Contracts Department of Defense 

JEL Classification

O-31 O-32 O-34 O-38 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard M. Franza
    • 1
  • Kevin P. Grant
    • 2
  • W. Austin Spivey
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Management and EntrepreneurshipKennesaw State UniversityKennesawUSA
  2. 2.Department of Information Systems and Technology ManagementThe University of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

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