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Efficiency and evaluation analysis of a network of technology transfer brokers

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Technology transfer (TT) brokers are a type of innovation intermediary that is regarded as a facilitator of the interaction between donor and recipient within an innovation process. Yet, little is known about how to analyse their performance and efficiency. This paper aims at modelling a proper production function for the TT brokers, providing insights on how to compare their performance and investigating the influence of external factors on their efficiency, in order to draw useful managerial and policy implications. Data drawn from a survey conducted among the nodes belonging to the technology transfer network IRC (Innovation Relay Centre) have been utilised to investigate how endogenous and exogenous factors may affect brokers' efficiency. Results showed how brokers can pursue more productive and targeted strategy in order to increase their impact and improve their performance (inter alia, by taking into account a 'pull' approach to technology and the need of a long-lasting relationship with the clients - small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular). At the policy level, interesting insights are drawn on how to tune existing innovation support initiatives and design new ones from scratch.

Keywords: brokers; data envelopment analysis (DEA); efficiency; innovation intermediaries; ordered probit; technology transfer

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09537325.2011.537085

Affiliations: 1: European Commission - JRC, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Seville, Spain 2: Department of Management, Second University of Naples, Italy

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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