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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  

Katherine J. Strandburg

New York University School of Law

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Strandburg, Katherine J., Curiosity-Driven Research and University Technology Transfer. ADVANCES IN THE STUDY OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP, INNOVATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH, Vol. 16, pp. 97-126, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=889207

Katherine J. Strandburg (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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