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

See all articles by David C. Mowery

David C. Mowery

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Arvids A. Ziedonis

KU Leuven - Faculty of Economics and Business; Department of Management, Strategy, and Innovation

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Mowery, David C. and Ziedonis, Arvids Alexander, 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, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=951350

David C. Mowery

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Arvids Alexander Ziedonis (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Faculty of Economics and Business; Department of Management, Strategy, and Innovation ( email )

Warmoesberg 26
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

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