Essays in Honor of Edwin Mansfield

pp 233-245

The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 and University-Industry Technology Transfer: A Model for Other OECD Governments?

  • David C. MoweryAffiliated withHaas School of Business, UC BerkeleyNBER
  • , Bhaven N. SampatAffiliated withSchool of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of TechnologySchool of Public Health Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan

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Recent initiatives by a number of OECD governments suggest considerable interest in emulating the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, a piece of legislation that is widely credited with stimulating significant growth in university-industry technology transfer and research collaboration in the US. We examine the effects of Bayh-Dole on university-industry collaboration and technology transfer in the US, emphasizing the lengthy history of both activities prior to 1980 and noting the extent to which these activities are rooted in the incentives created by the unusual scale and structure (by comparison with Western Europe or Japan) of the US higher education system. Efforts at “emulation” of the Bayh-Dole policy elsewhere in the OECD are likely to have modest success at best without greater attention to the underlying structural differences among the higher education systems of these nations.

Key words

Bayh-Dole technology transfer patents