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

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Richard M. Franza.

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Franza, R.M., Grant, K.P. & Spivey, W.A. Technology transfer contracts between R&D labs and commercial partners: choose your words wisely. J Technol Transf 37, 577–587 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-010-9191-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-010-9191-6

Keywords

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

JEL Classification

  • O-31
  • O-32
  • O-34
  • O-38