Challenges for Japanese universities' technology licensing offices: What technology transfer in the United States can tell us

Myers, Robert A.

American universities have been transferring their technology to industry since before World War II. This technology is now developed with the more than $35 Billion the universities receive annually from the Federal government and industry, with the latter providing less than 10% of the total. The universities annually receive in total more than $1 Billion in royalty payments, create hundreds of new start-up companies every year, and are the recipients of more than 3400 US patents. Most of the royalties are paid for biomedical and pharmaceutical ["bio" and "pharma"] research, with these funding companies usually insisting on and obtaining exclusive intellectual property [IP] rights. As a pure business model, this process is somewhat questionable for the universities, but the other benefits obtained by the universities and society more than compensate for the costs. This paper will address US technology transfer from the viewpoint of an industrial "customer" - IBM - and from the viewpoint of my consulting company that represents universities and companies in technology transfer. From this experience we will identify some challenges facing newly "privatized" Japanese universities and propose some suggestions to Japanese Technology Licensing Offices [TLO] for what we believe are "best practices" in technology transfer.

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Academic Units
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
Center on Japanese Economy and Business Working Papers, 241
Published Here
February 14, 2011