The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 240–258 | Cite as

What drives academic patentees to bypass TTOs? Evidence from a large public research organisation

  • Rajeev K. GoelEmail author
  • Devrim Göktepe-Hultén


This paper provides insights into the behavior of academic patentees who choose to bypass in-house Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs). TTOs have gained favor in recent years as academic institutions have tried to increase commercialization of their inventions. Using a large sample of researchers at a leading German public research organisation (PRO), results show that patentees in physical and life sciences, those with doctoral degrees, and those with greater job experience are more likely to bypass TTOs. Different forms of industry interactions, including working in industry, industry cooperation and industry consulting, all make TTO-bypassing more likely, with some interesting differences across gender. Further, as expected, academics favoring free public access to their research are less likely to bypass TTOs. On the other hand, internal leadership position as a research group leader, German citizenship and risk attitudes do no exert significant influences. Implications for technology transfer policies are discussed.


Patents Technology transfer office (TTO) Public research organisation (PRO) Industry interactions Gender Germany 

JEL Classification

O31 O34 D23 D83 



Comments by Dirk Dohse and Al Link and research assistance by Ashley Wessman are appreciated. Göktepe-Hultén acknowledges the financial support of Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and KNOWSCIENCE Project, and Project leader Merle Jacob. An earlier version of this paper was circulated as a Kiel Working Paper #2079.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsIllinois State UniversityNormalUSA
  2. 2.Kiel Institute for the World EconomyKielGermany
  3. 3.Lund UniversityLundSweden

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