The Commercialization of National Lab Technology Through the Formation of 'Spin-Off' Firms: Evidence from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
International Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 3(1/2), pp. 106-119, 2001
Posted: 13 Dec 2006
This paper examines the role of Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), a major U.S. Department of Energy nuclear weapons research facility, in spawning spin-off firms. We provide some of the most comprehensive estimates of the number of spin-off firms associated with LLNL and find that this resarch facility appears to be at least as important a source of spin-off firms as are three defense-oriented laboratories in New Mexico with a combined budget that is substantially larger than that of LLNL. Our survey of these LLNL spin-offs suggests that fewer than one-quarter of them are directly engaged in the commercialization of LLNL-developed technologies, a finding that is broadly consistent with the results of other studies. Finally, our interviews with spin-off founders suggest that management and other policy-related impediments to the formatino os spin-off firms reduces the contributions of these firms to the commercialization of LLNL-developed technologies.
Keywords: Technology Transfer, National Laboratories, Spin-Off Firms
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