The Canadian Commercialization Discount: Examining the Transfer of University Research in Canada

54 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2006

See all articles by Ajay Agrawal

Ajay Agrawal

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 2006

Abstract

We review Canadian technology transfer trends over the past 10 years and discover that although inputs to the process of commercializing university science have increased consistently, increases in outputs have been less predictable. A pair-wise comparison between one of the largest research institutions in the country (University of Toronto) and a similarly significant American counterpart (MIT) reveals that the Canadian institution appears less efficient with respect to the commercialization of research. Moreover, regression analyses based on a sample of 160 universities from Canada and the U.S. provide more suggestive evidence that there may be a Canadian productivity discount in terms of technology transfer. Furthermore, a detailed interview with the CEO of a Canadian firm that has engaged in university technology transfer in a variety of countries reveals that, from at least this firm's perspective, commercialization transactions are more efficient in the U.S. Based on the literature and interview notes, we speculate on why this might be.

Keywords: Canada, productivity, commercialization, licensing, patents, universities

JEL Classification: O31, O32, O34

Suggested Citation

Agrawal, Ajay, The Canadian Commercialization Discount: Examining the Transfer of University Research in Canada (June 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=920936 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.920936

Ajay Agrawal (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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