The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 3–6 | Cite as

Technology transfer: A shortcut in danger of short circuit

  • John Mason Mings
Practitioner's Forum


At cocktail parties, in board rooms, at workstations, in classrooms, and in government offices, “technology transfer” is bandied about as if it were some natural phenomenon, a technological tsunami overwhelming everything in its path. Technology transfer, it is sometimes suggested, is an El Niño in business, government, industry, and even education decision-making, and for some it has meant disruption, dislocation, and danger. For others, technology transfer has been the vanguard of progress and an inexhaustible fountain of productivity, empowerment, and convenience. For all, “technology transfer” today is too often a personal shortcut in our communication that points to unintended meanings or implications. Just whatis “technology transfer,” anyway?

To move beyond knee-jerk advocacy or damnation of technology transfer on the questionable basis of faith, and to lay out a new dimension to the definition, understanding, and acceptance of technology transfer that is clear and understandable to any layman, is the purpose of this paper. It is based on a selective yet careful web search, since the Internet World Wide Web is a principal source for information in the growing debate about public policy issues.


Technology Transfer Cocktail Party Federal Laboratory Public Policy Issue Patent Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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List of World Wide Web Citations

  1. Rudolph, Lawrence, “Overview of Federal Technology Transfer.” Franklin Pierce Law Center. http:// (May 1, 1998).Google Scholar
  2. FLC. “Definition of Technology Transfer.” Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer. (May 1, 1998).Google Scholar
  3. CMST. “Vendor Database for Environmental Samples.” Characterization, Monitoring, & Sensor Technology Cross-cutting Program. (May 18, 1998).Google Scholar
  4. ATTC. Home Page. The Alabama Technology Transfer Center, United States Department of Transportation. (March 26, 1998).Google Scholar
  5. Gustavson Associates. “Technology Transfer and Training.” Gustavson Associates, Inc. Scholar

Copyright information

© Technology Transfer Society 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Mason Mings
    • 1
  1. 1.Business Development Manager and WriterFairmont

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