The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 607–640 | Cite as

Technology transfer model for Austrian higher education institutions

  • Joachim Heinzl
  • Ah-Lian Kor
  • Graham Orange
  • Hans Rüdiger Kaufmann


The aim of this paper is to present the findings of a PhD research (Heinzl 2007, Unpublished PhD Thesis) conducted on the Universities of Applied Sciences in Austria. Four of the models that emerge from this research are: Generic Technology Transfer Model (Sect. 5.1); Idiosyncrasies Model for the Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences (Sect. 5.2); Idiosyncrasies-Technology Transfer Effects Model (Sect. 5.3); Idiosyncrasies-Technology Transfer Cumulated Effects Model (Sect. 5.3). The primary and secondary research methods employed for this study are: literature survey, focus groups, participant observation, and interviews. The findings of the research contribute to a conceptual design of a technology transfer system which aims to enhance the higher education institutions’ technology transfer performance.


Idiosyncrasies Technology transfer IPR Mechanism Transfer system Absorptive capacity R&D Innovation system Cumulated effects 

JEL Classification



  1. Aarikka-Stenroos, L., & Sandberg, B. (2012). From new-product development to commercialization through networks. Journal of Business Research, 65(2), 198–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adner, R. (2006). Match your innovation strategy to your innovation ecosystem. Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business School Publishing, Accessed date 28th March, 2012, URL address:
  3. Amessea, F., & Cohendet, P. (2001). Technology transfer revisited from the perspective of the knowledge-based economy. Research Policy, 30, 1459–1478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Apke, T. M. (1998). Acquisition and licensing of intellectual property. Managerial Law, 40(6), 1–15.Google Scholar
  5. ARCS. (2005). Austrian Research Centres—Gelbe Seiten. Seibersdorf: Marketing Publication of the Austrian Research Centres Seibersdorf.Google Scholar
  6. Argote, L., & Ingram, P. (2000). Knowledge transfer: A basis for competitive advantage in firms. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 82(1), 150–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Austrian Council. (2002). National research and innovation plan. Vienna: Publication of the Austrian Council.Google Scholar
  8. BMBWK. (2002a). Higher education reform in Austria. Accessed date 31st July, 2006, URL address:, Wien.
  9. BMBWK. (2002b). Das österreichische Hochschulsystem—Ein Überblick. Accessed date: 31st July, 2006, URL address:, Wien.
  10. BMBWK. (2003a). Fachhochschulstudiengänge in Österreich. Accessed date: 31st July, 2006, URL address:, Wien.
  11. BMBWK. (2003b). Patente und Universitäten in Österreich—Analyse der Patentierungsaktivitäten der Bereiche Medizin, Naturwissenschaften, und Technik an den österreichischen Universitäten 1999–2001. Accessed date: 31st July, 2006, URL address:, Wien.
  12. Bozeman, B. (2000). Technology transfer and public policy: A review of research and theory. Research Policy, 29, 627–655, Accessed date 17th July, 2011, URL address:
  13. Buono, A. F. (1997). Technology transfer through acquisition. Management Decision, 35(3), 194–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ciesa, V., & Piccaluga, A. (2000). Exploitation and diffusion of public research: The case of academic spin-off companies in Italy. R&D Management, 30(4), 329–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cohen, W. M., & Levinthal, D. (1989). Innovation and learning: The two faces of R&D. The Economic Journal, 99, 569–596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cooke, P. (2001). Strategy for regional innovation systems: Learning transfer and applications. Cardiff: Centre for Advanced Studies Cardiff University.Google Scholar
  17. Cummings, J. L., & Teng, B. S. (2003). Transferring R&D knowledge: The key factors affecting knowledge transfer success. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 20, 39–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Davenport, S., Carr, A., & Bibby, D. (2002). Leveraging talent: Spin-off strategy at industrial research. R&D Management, 32(3), 241–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Debackere, K., & Veugelers, R. (2005). The role of academic technology transfer organizations in improving industry science links. Research Policy, 34, 321–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dequech, D. (2003). Cognitive and cultural embeddedness: Combining institutional economics and economic sociology. Journal of Economic Issues.Google Scholar
  21. Diamant, R., & Pugatch, M. (2007). Measuring technology transfer performance in public-private partnershipsa discussion paper. Accessed date: 17th July, 2011, URL address:
  22. Doloreux, D. (2002). What we should know about regional systems of innovation. Technology in Society, 24, 243–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Etzkowitz, H. (2002). Incubation of incubators: Innovation as a triple helix of university-industry-government networks. Science and Public Policy, 29, 115–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Etzkowitz, H. (2003). Research groups as ‚quasi-firms’: The invention of the entrepreneurial university. Research Policy, 32, 109–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. European Commission. (2000). European trend chart on innovation: Technology transfer, trend chart on innovation ( Brussels.
  26. European Commission. (2001a). European trend chart on innovation: The use of mobility schemes in innovation policy, trend chart on innovation ( Brussels.
  27. European Commission. (2001b). European trend chart on innovation—country report: Austria, country report by EC, Brussels.
  28. European Commission. (2001c). European trend chart on innovation: industry-science relationship 2001, trend chart on innovation ( Brussels.
  29. European Commission. (2002a). European trend chart on innovation: lifelong learning, trend chart on innovation ( Brussels.
  30. European Commission. (2002b). Innovation policy in Europe 2002, innovation paper No. 29, ( Brussels.
  31. FHR. (2003). Bericht der Fachhochschulrates an das Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kultur. Accessed date: 31st July, 2006, URL address:,Wien.
  32. Fletcher, M. (2003). The European innovation scoreboard. Work Study, 52(1), 37–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Freeman, C. (1987). Technology and economic performance: Lessons from Japan. London: Pinter.Google Scholar
  34. Gibbons M., Limoges C., Nowotny H., Schwartzman S., Scott P., Trow M. (1994). The new production of knowledge: The dynamics of science and research in contemporary societies, London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  35. Gornitzka, A., & Maassen, P. (2000). National policies concerning the economic role of higher education. Higher Education Policy, 13, 225–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91(3), 481–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gulbranson, C. A., & Audretsch, D. B. (2008). Proof of concept centers: Accelerating the commercialization of university innovation. Journal of Technology Transfer, 33, 249–258. doi: 10.1007/s10961-008-9086-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hagen, S., Müller, O., Heinzl, J., & Duelli, H. (2003). Strategisches F&E Arbeitsprogramm der Fachhochschule Vorarlberg (2002–2007). Dornbirn: Entwicklungskonzept der Fachhochschule Vorarlberg.Google Scholar
  39. Hass, J. K. (2007). Economic sociology: An introduction. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Heinzl, J. (2007). The Effects of Idiosyncrasies of Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences on their Technology Transfer Performance. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK.Google Scholar
  41. Heydebreck, P., Klofsten, M., & Maier, J. C. (2000). Innovation support for new technology-based firms: The Swedish Teknopol approach. R&D Management, 30(1), 89–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Hildreth, P. M., & Kimble, C. (2002). The duality of knowledge. Information Research, 8(1). Accessed date: 16th October, 2006, URL address:
  43. Hutschenreiter, G., & Kaniovki, S. (1999). Embodied technology diffusion in Austria, TIP report. Vienna.Google Scholar
  44. Islam, M. E. (2009). R&D Intensity, Technology Transfer and Absorptive Capacity, Discussion Paper, Department of Economics, Monash University, No:13/09, Issn 1441-5429, Accessed date: 14th July, 2011, URL address: [].
  45. Jacobsson, S. (2002). Universities and industrial transformation: An interpretative and selective literature study with special emphasis on Sweden. Science and Public Policy, 29(5), 345–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Jones-Evans, D., Klofsten, M., Anderson, E., & Pandva, D. (1999). Creating a bridge between university and industry in small European countries: The role of the industrial liaison office. R&D Management, 29, 47–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Knoll, N. (2001). Progress towards the knowledge-based economy, WIFO study, No. 161. Vienna.Google Scholar
  48. Kor, A. L., & Orange, G. (2011). A survey of epistemology and its implications for an organizational information and knowledge management model. In A. Eardley & L. Uden (Eds.), Innovative knowledge management: Concepts for organizational creativity and collaborative design (pp. 95–124). New York: Information Science Reference.Google Scholar
  49. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Lee, Y. S. (1996). Technology transfer and the research university: A search for the boundaries of university-industry collaboration. Research Policy, 25, 843–863.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Lee, J., & Win, H. N. (2004). Technology transfer between university research centers and industry in Singapore. Technovation, 24, 433–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lin, B. W. (2003). Technology transfer as a technological learning: A source of competitive advantage for firms with limited R&D resources. R&D Management, 33(3), 327–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Link, A. N., & Scott, J. T. (2011). Research, Science, and Technology Parks: Vehicles for Technology Transfer, Department of Economics Working Paper Series, The University of North Carolina, December 2011, Working Paper 11-22, URL address:, Accessed date: 27th Feb, 2012.
  54. Liu, H., & Jiang, Y. (2001). Technology transfer from higher education institutions to industry in China: Nature and implications. Technovation, 21, 175–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lundvall, B. Å. (1992). National Innovation systems: Towards a theory of innovation and interactive learning. London: Pinter.Google Scholar
  56. Mansfield, E., & Lee, J. (1996). The modern university: Contributor to industrial innovation and recipient of industrial R&D support. Research Policy, 25, 1047–1058.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Markman, G. D., Siegel, D. S., & Wright, M. (2008). Research and technology commercialization. Journal of Management Studies, 45(8), 0022–2380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. McAdam, M., & McAdam, R. (2006). The networked incubator: The role and operation of entrepreneurial networking with the university science park incubator (USI). Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 7(2), 87–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Nationalrat. (2003). FHStG—Fachhochschulstudiengesetz 1993, letzte Änderung 2003.Google Scholar
  60. Niosi, J., & Bellon, B. (2002). The absorptive capacity of regions, COLLOQUE « ECONOMIE MEDITERRANEE MONDE ARABE » GDRI CNRS EMMA 20-21 SEPTEMBRE 2002, Sousse—Port El Kantaoui, Tunisie.Google Scholar
  61. OECD. (1997). National innovation systems. Accessed date: 28th Feb, 2008, URL address:
  62. OECD. (1999a). University research in transition. Paris: OECD Publication Service.Google Scholar
  63. OECD. (1999b). The response of higher education institutions to regional needs. Paris: OECD Publication Service.Google Scholar
  64. OECD. (2000). A new economy? The changing role of innovation and information technology in growth. Paris: OECD Publication Service.Google Scholar
  65. OECD. (2002). Benchmarking industry–science relationships. Paris: OECD Publication Service.Google Scholar
  66. Park, W. G., & Lippoldt, D. C. (2008). Technology transfer and the economic implications of the strengthening of intellectual property rights in developing countries, OECD Trade Policy Working Paper No. 62, Accessed date: 18th July, 2011, URL address:
  67. Phillips, R. G. (2002). Technology business incubators: How effective as technology transfer mechanisms? Technology in Society, 24, 299–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Polt, W., Paier, M., Schibany, A., Gasler, H., Hutschenreiter, G., Peneder, M., et al. (2000). Austrian report on technology. Vienna: Tip Report.Google Scholar
  69. Pyka, A. (2002). Innovation networks in economics: From the incentive-based to the knowledge-based approach. European Journal of Innovation Management, 5, 152–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Rogers, E. B., & Steffensen, M. (1999). Spin-offs. In R. Dorf (Ed.), Handbook of technology management. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  71. Rogers, E. M., Takegami, S., & Yin, J. (2001). Lessons learned about technology transfer. Technovation, 21, 253–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Saez, C. B., Marco, T. G., & Arribas, E. H. (2002). Collaboration in R&D with universities and research centers: An empirical study of Spanish firms. R&D Management, 32, 321–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Schaettgen, M., & Werp R. (1996). Good practice in the transfer of university technology to industry. European Commission, DGXIII, EIMS Publication No. 26.Google Scholar
  74. Schartinger, D., Rammer, C., Fischer, M. M., & Fröhlich, J. (2002). Knowledge interactions between universities and industry in Austria: Sectoral patterns and determinants. Research Policy, 31, 303–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Schibany, A., Jörg, L., & Polt, W. (1999). Towards realistic expectations: The science system as contributor to technological innovation. Vienna: TIP-Report.Google Scholar
  76. Senge, P. (1990). Fifth discipline: The art and practice of a learning organization. New York: Currency and Doubleday.Google Scholar
  77. Siegel, D. S., Veugelers, & Wright, M. (2007). Technology transfer offices and commercialization of university intellectual property: Performance and policy implications. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 23(4), 640–660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Tidd, J., & Trewhalla, M. J. (1997). Organisational and technological antecedents for knowledge acquisition and learning. R&D Management, 27(4), 359–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Todorova, G., & Durisin, B. (2003). The concept and the reconceptualization of absorptive capacity: Recognizing the value, SDA Bocconi, Working Paper N. 95/03.Google Scholar
  80. Van Looy, B., Debackere, K., & Andries, P. (2003). Policies to stimulate regional innovation capabilities via university–industry collaboration: an analysis and an assessment. R&D Management, 33(2), 209–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Warden, C. (2003). Mapping & reporting intellectual capital: New strategic challenges for HEROs, IPR Publication in IPR.Google Scholar
  82. WIPO, (2001). WIPO intellectual property handbook: Policy, law and use, publication by the world intellectual property organisation, N° 489(E).Google Scholar
  83. Wood, M. S. (2009). Does one size fit all? The Multiple Organizational Forms Leading to Successful Academic Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(4), 929–947.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Wright, M., Birley, S., & Mosey, S. (2004). Entrepreneurship and university technology transfer. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 29(3–4), 235–246(12).Google Scholar
  85. Wright, M., et al. (2007). Academic entrepreneurship in Europe. Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  86. Zahra, S. A., & George, G. (2002). Absorptive capacity: A review, re-conceptualization, and extension. Academy of Management Review, 27(2), 185–203.Google Scholar
  87. Zukin, S., & DiMaggio, O. (1990). Structures of capital: The social organization of the economy. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joachim Heinzl
    • 1
  • Ah-Lian Kor
    • 2
  • Graham Orange
    • 2
  • Hans Rüdiger Kaufmann
    • 3
  1. 1.Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg, Fachhochschule Vorarlberg GmbH (FHV)DornbirnAustria
  2. 2.Faculty of Arts, Environment, and TechnologyLeeds Metropolitan UniversityLeedsUK
  3. 3.School of BusinessUniversity of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus

Personalised recommendations