Technology Producers - A technology is developed by Technology Producers and then transferred to Technology Consumers (the left side of Figure 1). Technology producers are the people who conduct the technology application activity and first generate the idea for matching a technology to a new application. The technology producer stakeholders include inventors and researchers in academic or federal laboratories and companies.
Technology Consumers - The Technology Consumers translate the idea into a prototype technology. The technology consumer stakeholders include government agencies with a mission to apply technologies to serve national needs (e.g. defense, space exploration, veterans health care), private sector manufacturers seeking to develop new products based on advanced technologies, or intellectual property brokers in the business of reselling technology.
Product Producers - Technologies are transformed into products by Product Producers for sale to Product Consumers in the marketplace (the right side of Figure 1). The product producer stakeholders include manufacturers of products, distributors of products through domestic and international markets, and value-added retailers that offer the products for sale to consumers and provide services to support the products.
Product Consumers - The Product Consumers include end-users and family members who acquire and use the product, and professional service providers who prescribe or recommend the products to others.
The Technology Producers and the Product Consumers are at opposite ends of the technology transfer process. Most Technology Consumers are private sector manufacturers, as are most Product Producers. Manufacturers are the entities willing to invest the time and resources necessary, and have the expertise necessary, to transform the technology into a product. So, manufacturers are the critical link in the technology transfer process because they are the only stakeholder positioned to transform a technology into a product. However, the manufacturers are totally reliant on the other stakeholders to comprise the marketplace.
Resource Providers - Resource providers are the fifth critical stakeholder group. Resource providers include government and private entities providing financial support to fund technology transfer, government and private insurance third-party payers that fund a majority of the product purchases, programs that analyze and change policies and systems, technology transfer intermediaries providing technical expertise to conduct the transfer, and professionals providing content expertise within the transfer application area. The Resource Providers are most critical for transfers of technologies lacking sufficient market incentives for the private sector to fund independently particularly orphan products.
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