ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1771.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: technology; technology maturity level; technology readiness level; technology transfer; gap fund; science and technology policy
Online: 29 November 2023 (04:51:41 CET)
Recently considered modifications to public policy and trends in technology transfer practices have underscored the need for validated instruments to assess the maturity of technologies. This paper details a study that aimed to develop and present a generalized technology readiness level (GTRL) scale that a variety of professionals and researchers could use to assess the maturity of technologies in a range of contexts. Of particular interest is developing and validating an instrument that technology transfer professionals in federal laboratories, universities, and the private sector in the United States of America can use to assess the maturity of technologies to facilitate their technology transfer efforts. The primary goal of the research study was to highlight the need for validated measurement instruments for assessing the maturity of technologies in these contexts, test methods for validating the GTRL scale and other readiness level scales, and fill the knowledge gap regarding methods for properly validating such instruments. This included producing insights to inform future efforts to validate the GTRL scale as well as efforts to develop and validate other instruments to measure technology maturity. The study provides specific recommendations relevant to determining the face validity, content validity, inter-rater reliability, and intra-rater reliability of the GTRL scale and other such instruments for assessing technology maturity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0504.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: science policy; technology policy; technology; technology maturity level; technology readiness level; technology commercialization; technology transfer; university technology transfer
Online: 27 January 2023 (10:45:25 CET)
This paper presents the results of a study aimed at understanding how technology maturity level influences the incidence of university technology transfer to the private sector. The study examined the topic from the perspective of private sector organizations. It used data from a random sample of patent applications filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and a theoretically guided sampling of multiple cases of private sector organizations that contemplated obtaining and assimilating technologies created at universities in the United States. The patent application data were analyzed using nonparametric statistical techniques and the case data were analyzed using qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). The findings of the study suggest that the typical maturity level of technologies created at U.S. universities is a TRL-5 or lower on as scale adapted from the NASA technology readiness level (TRL) scale. A technology maturity level of TRL-6 or higher is likely an insufficient but necessary part of at least one unnecessary but sufficient configuration of conditions that tends to result in the occurrence of university technology transfer. However, under certain circumstances, a technology maturity level of at least TRL-6 could be a sufficient but unnecessary condition for the occurrence of university technology transfer. These findings have several important implications. First, they provide support for the notion that university technology transfer is subject to causal complexity. Moreover, it may be possible to increase the incidence of university technology transfer in the United States by implementing public policy and practices that explicitly take technology maturity level into consideration.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0503.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: political legitimacy; science policy; technology policy, technology transfer
Online: 27 January 2023 (10:44:44 CET)
The underlying assumption of the discourse about technology transfer is that government intervention is legitimate. Little scholarship has examined whether this assumption is valid or not and on what basis. Legitimacy is an important construct in the context of public policy. Government intervention can only be sustained if the public views such action as legitimate. The creation and transfer of technologies to the private sector is an area where there is significant government intervention. This paper reconceptualizes political legitimacy in the context of technology transfer policy. The analysis illuminates several concerns and challenges regarding the traditional approach to understanding whether specific government interventions in technology transfer are legitimate. It subsequently applies social constructionism and the notion of morality tales to describe an alternative conceptualization of political legitimacy that integrates aspects of other frameworks. In doing so, it reimagines political legitimacy as less of an unattainable normative principle of limited practical value to policymakers and more of a descriptively understood social phenomenon that policymakers can apply while formulating not only technology transfer policy, but other kinds of public policy as well. The paper demonstrates that there is a broader basis for claims of political legitimacy for government intervention in technology transfer, there is likely a more expansive range of technology transfer problems with which the government can rightly concern itself as well as possible solutions that policymakers can justifiably consider for addressing those problems, and that the political consequences of potential overreach in technology transfer policy are likely minimal.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0498.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: public policy; science policy; technology; technology commercialization; technology transfer; university technology transfer
Online: 27 January 2023 (09:33:38 CET)
This paper presents an alternative conceptualization and definition of technology in the context of university technology transfer. The ambiguity regarding the conceptualization of technology is apparent in the technology transfer literature. An expanded conceptualization of technology potentially opens new approaches to researching the topic of technology transfer. It may also cause policymakers to think more comprehensively about what it means to successfully transfer technologies derived from federally funded research to the private sector for use that benefits the public interest. This paper integrates constructs and ideas in the related literature to provide a new perspective of technology that can support future scholarly research and public policy formulation about technology transfer in general, and university technology transfer specifically. Although the paper focuses on university technology transfer to the private sector in the United States, the insights it presents are relevant to technology transfer more broadly and applicable in other geopolitical contexts.