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Technology transfer and the creation of companies: the CSIRO experience

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There is increasing interest worldwide in stimulating the emergence and growth of new technology–based companies, and in the role of public–funded research agencies in this process. This paper examines the experience of CSIRO, Australia’s largest R&D organisation, in creating new companies, as part of its technology transfer activities.

Three modes of technology transfer are described, namely Non–Commercial Transfer, Commercial Transfer and New Company Generation. The technology transfer ‘mix’, that is the relative weight given to the different modes, has changed in CSIRO and in other public funded agencies in recent years. The increased importance being given to New Company Generation in CSIRO is attributed to the development of in–house commercial expertise, changing public expectations and the increased availability of venture capital.

CSIRO’s experience with spin–offs and other new companies is analysed, and the challenges related to effective use of this mode of technology transfer are discussed.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: University of New South Wales (ADFA) Canberra, Australia 2: Deakin University, Australia

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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