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Transfer of advanced manufacturing technology from Canadian universities to industry

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Although advanced manufacturing technology (AMT) is a key factor in improving North America's industrial competitiveness, there is a problem in transferring it from university to industry. This study, conducted for a Canadian governmental agency, addresses the problem by querying Canadian professors, university-liaison officers, and administrators of intermediary (broker) organizations in order to uncover the processes of AMT transfer; that is, the ways in which technical knowledge embodied in inventions is converted into outputs used by companies. Four processes, in which the critical entities are professors, universities, intermediary organizations, and spinoffs, account for what has been transferred While the first is by far the most significant currently, the third has a high future potential. An analysis of barriers suggests that while some probably inhibit all four transfer processes, others have their impacts on only one specific process. If we are going to raise the number of transfers, we must work more diligently to pinpoint the causes for low levels of transfer. Studying the barriers to university transfer in general should therefore yield information on which barriers are associated with which processes.

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He has a Ph.D. in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University. His research interest is in managing technological change in manufacturing. He is co-author ofManagement of Advanced Manufacturing Technology: Strategy, Organization and Innovation, published by John Wiley in 1992.

He is also director of the Manufacturing Systems Center and supervisor of the graduate program. He holds a PhD. in industrial engineering from the University of Manitoba. Kumar is the author of more than 50 articles.

He holds a Ph.D. in management sciences from the University of Waterloo. Pal has published on the impact of manufacturing technology and advanced manufacturing techniques.

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Gerwin, D., Kumar, V. & Pal, S. Transfer of advanced manufacturing technology from Canadian universities to industry. J Technol Transfer 17, 57–67 (1992).

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