Technology transfer from public research institutes to SMEs: A configurational approach to studying reverse knowledge flow benefits

Annapoornima M. Subramanian*, Rohit Nishant, Vareska Van De Vrande, Chang Chieh Hang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Technology transfer from public research institutes (PRIs) to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) facilitated by intermediary agents such as Research Scientists and Engineers (RSEs) has received limited attention. Similarly, the literature on intermediary agents has overlooked the reverse knowledge flow benefits enjoyed by the RSEs who facilitate technology transfer. Motivated by these gaps, we aim to answer the following research question: What characteristics and conditions of technology transfer determine the intangible benefits attained by technology transfer intermediary agents? To do so, we leverage the unique research context of the Technology Upgrading (T-Up) transfer policy in Singapore that commissions PRIs to impart technology capabilities in SMEs, facilitated by RSEs who move between organizations to carry out the transfer. Supported by an in-depth field study and survey data from multiple stakeholders that participated in the technology transfer, we apply fuzzy sets qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to analyze the configuration of factors influencing the reverse knowledge flow benefits attained by the technology transfer intermediary agents. Our findings on the mutually reinforcing nature of intermediary agent-recipient benefits have important implications for research and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104602
JournalResearch Policy
Volume51
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

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