cubierta_DT 2005_1

PublicationWorking Papers

Licensing of University Inventions

The Role of a Technology Transfer Office

Social Sciences > EconomicsTechnology > Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

We provide a theoretical model which helps to explain the specific role of TTOs. Using a framework where firms have incomplete information on the quality of inventions, we develop a reputation argument for the TTO to reduce the asymmetric information problem. Our results indicate that a TTO is often able to benefit from its capacity to pool innovations across research units (and to build a reputation) within universities.

It will have an incentive to “shelve” some of the projects, thus raising the buyer’s beliefs on expected quality, which results in fewer but more valuable innovations being sold at higher prices. We explain the importance of a critical size for the TTO in order to be successful as well as the stylized fact that TTOs may lead to fewer licensing agreements, but higher income from innovation transfers.