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One Process for Technology Transfer


Figure 1. presents the Tech Transfer RERC's model of the entire technology transfer process for consideration. Although the model contains multiple activities, events and stakeholders, it is important to recognize that they all contribute to one overall process. Figure 1. captures multiple concepts important to understanding technology transfer. The sine wave represents the technology transfer process as it progresses from left to right, and the horizontal axis represents the environmental context in which the technology transfer process occurs.

Technology versus Product - the technology transfer process progresses from idea, through prototype, to product. This progression raises the importance of distinguishing between a technology and a product; a point of considerable confusion for people attempting to understand technology transfer. The technology transfer process encompasses both technologies and products. A technology is not a product, although one or more technologies are incorporated to provide a product s features and functions. For example, the manufacturer of a nonstick frying pan incorporates multiple materials technologies including metals, ceramics, plastics and bonding agents, so the consumer can buy a frying pan with the nonstick feature.

figure 1

Figure 1.

Within Figure 1., technology-related activity is on left side of the model, and product activity is on the right side of the model. The technology-to-product transformation occurs around the midpoint (prototype event). It is important to understand that the broader technology transfer process involves technologies and products despite the terms focus on technology.

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