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Technology Transfer in Agriculture: The Case of Wageningen University

  • Sebastian Hoenen
  • Christos Kolympiris
  • Emiel Wubben
  • Onno Omta
Chapter
Part of the Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management book series (ITKM)

Abstract

Even though returns on R&D in agriculture are high, technology transfer from academia to industry is not strong in this field. In this chapter, we study what universities can do to strengthen knowledge transfer from academia to industry, specifically in agriculture. We use Wageningen University and Research (WUR), a leading institution in technology transfer in agriculture science, as a case study. We present a detailed historical account of technology transfer at WUR and follow with a set of interviews conducted with different stakeholders in technology transfer. The results from our interviews highlight that WUR has facilitated technology transfer through four mechanisms: (1) department independence to pursue different forms of technology transfer; (2) implementation of a general legal framework of technology transfer to unburden departments, scientists, and IP staff; (3) embracing a culture where the prime driver for technology transfer is a “responsibility to give back to society” rather than income; and (4) embedding itself in a location where ties with industry are the norm. Our work is timely because technology transfer to industry is increasingly pursued at universities across the globe. The success of those efforts is not always guaranteed. We inform stakeholders and researchers by presenting a better understanding of what works and what does not work in technology transfer in agriculture.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Hoenen
    • 1
  • Christos Kolympiris
    • 2
  • Emiel Wubben
    • 1
  • Onno Omta
    • 1
  1. 1.Wageningen University and ResearchWageningenNetherlands
  2. 2.University of BathBathUK

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