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Two Forces Initiate Technology Transfer


Who initiates the technology transfer process, and why? This is another source of multiple interpretations of technology transfer, because the process can originate from either end of the process. Technology producers (e.g. inventors and researchers) push new technology developments toward the Technology Consumers (e.g. manufacturers and government agencies) from the left side (supply push), while Product Consumers (e.g. end-users and service providers) pull at product providers to meet unmet market opportunities from the right side (demand pull). The top of Figure 1 depicts these two initiating forces: supply push and demand pull.

Supply Push - supply push means that the technology transfer process starts with an identified technology that is seeking an appropriate application. In this direction the technology or product supplied is pushing toward the marketplace expecting to meet a demand.

Demand Pull - demand pull means that the technology transfer process starts with an identified unmet market need which is seeking an appropriate solution the demand identified is pulling a technology or a product toward it.

The origins have implications for the process. Technology transfers originating with supply push present a different model than the model for demand pull transfers. The two models have implications for research and for development. Despite the supply push and demand pull forces, technology transfer will only occur if a manufacturer is able to transform a technology in supply into a product in demand. This point is elaborated upon below.

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