An appraisal of the optimal conditions for successful technology transfer to a low technology industry: The case of publicly funded food research in Ireland

Paul O'Reilly, Dublin Institute of Technology
Maeve Henchion

Document Type Conference Paper

Technology Transfer Society Annual Conference, Washington DC, USA, November 12-13, 2010


Operating in an environment characterised by significant economic, political and social change, the requirement for scientific-based innovation is critical for the food industry. The current low level of R&D in the sector, and a growing recognition that companies need to look to knowledge sources outside as well as inside the firm to successfully innovate, brings the need for enhanced leveraging of publicly funded food research into focus. This paper presents the findings of a mixed methods approach. This consists of twenty case studies of completed publicly funded projects, ten of which had achieved technology transfer and ten which had failed to achieve previously stated technology transfer objectives. Research results from a survey of the population of publicly funded food researchers and a food industry survey are also presented. The findings highlight the key role of mechanisms to support tacit knowledge transfer and in particular emphasise the importance of continued involvement of the researcher in the transfer process.