K.U.Leuven - Departement toegepaste economische wetenschappen
DTEW Research Report 9703 pages:1-38
This paper proposes a framework on how different mechanisms for knowledge transfer can be linked to the underlying technological life-cycle. Drawing on recent insights from the organizational economics literature, we analyze the design of knowledge transfer mechanisms and structures from an incentive point of view. The basic version of the incomplete contracts model (or property rights model) was adapted to include knowledge as an asset. Several empirical hypotheses can be derived from this model. They are contrasted with other theoretical approaches to model organizational growth and development, as we are specifically interested in the use of new ventures creation as a technology transfer mechanism. Using this framework as a starting point, a limited empirical test is two sub-fields of modern biotechnology : monoclonal antibodies and protein engineering. The results are interesting: the property rights model may add to current insights on spin-offs as a mechanism for knowledge transfer as well as to a better understanding of the incentive structures that influence an organization's decision to enter a technological collaboration with a university or another biotech firm.