Curiosity-Driven Research and University Technology Transfer
ADVANCES IN THE STUDY OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP, INNOVATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH, Vol. 16, pp. 97-126, 2005
40 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2006
The debate about university technology transfer policy would benefit from increased attention to two parts of the technology transfer equation: the societal purpose of basic scientific research and the characteristics of scientific researchers. One purpose of curiosity-driven research is to provide a demand function for that can serve as a proxy for the socially optimal (but unknowable) demand function for the unpredictable research which is necessary for long-term technological progress. Preserving the curiosity-driven research peer review "market" is thus important for that progress. The analysis highlights the importance of adequate funding for curiosity-driven research. A model of typical university scientists preferences can be used to assess how technology transfer policies may affect the social norms of the research community and the long term viability of the curiosity-driven research endeavor. The analysis suggests that patenting will be an ineffective technology transfer mechanism unless researchers are precluded from using patenting to maintain control over follow-on research.
Keywords: technology transfer, patent, university
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