Developing internationally comparable indicators for the commercialization of publicly-funded research

Anthony Arundel & Catalina Bordoy


It is a common perception that European public-funded research fails to commercialize their discoveries, in contrast to the perceived success of their American counterparts. This resulted in policies aimed at improving the commercialization of European publicly-funded research, including the establishment of Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs). Recent surveys on the activities of these TTOs show that although European public-funded research lags behind the United States in patent applications and grants, they produce more start-ups, and have comparable results for the number of licenses executed. Steps to improve the international comparability of TTO surveys could provide useful new indicators for policy development. However, this will also require indicators for knowledge transfer through informal 'open science' methods.

JEL Classification: O31, O32, O38

Keywords: Public R&D; Commericalization, Research Indicators, Open Science; Europe

UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872

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