Global Center for Technology Transfer

Global Center for Technology Transfer

Global Center for Technology Transfer

There is growing global interest among academics and policymakers in technology transfer at universities and federal/national labs (e.g., the recent NASEM report on “Advancing Commercialization from the Federal Laboratories”) and the role of these institutions in regional economic and social development.

Firms that collaborate with universities and federal/national labs are also interested in learning how to navigate and evaluate these relationships. Technology transfer is an important engine for economic and social development in the U.S. and around the globe. In addition, there are major federal funding opportunities relating to infrastructure investment, post-COVID technology transfer and the development of new socio-technical systems for economic growth.

Given these trends and the absence of any organized effort dedicated to conducting leading-edge, interdisciplinary research, the Global Center for Technology Transfer (GCTT) at ASU exists to bridge the gap between technology research and managerial practice and public policy formulation.

The center draws on the power of ASU’s vast expertise, as well as the resources and capabilities of key external partners, to:

  • Develop academic programs on technology transfer at the graduate level (masters and executive education)
  • Serve as a center for evaluation and consulting with stakeholders interested in technology transfer
  • Involve students in faculty research to analyze the nuances of interdisciplinary approaches to technology transfer, making a special effort to involve first-generation, minority undergraduate students, and underrepresented groups (e.g., women)
  • Promote economic and social development at the national and regional levels (e.g., through training and executive education), with an emphasis on developing networks centered on technology transfer in Arizona. 


Three unique themes

The GCTT is centered around three unique themes. First, we're interdisciplinary. Technology transfer spans numerous social science disciplines, including economics, public policy, psychology, economic geography, sociology, political science, law, and several fields in business administration (e.g., strategy, organizational behavior, marketing, finance). In addition, the social science approaches intersect with the arts and the humanities (e.g., history, media, and philosophy). As a result, tech transfer must be examined at various levels:  individuals, organizations, regions, nations and societies, to better design and absorb innovations locally. 

Second, we address technology transfer at both universities and federal/national labs/public research institutes. While there has been considerable research on technolog transfer in universities, there is a paucity of such research at federal labs and other public research institutes, which capture a large share of national R&D investment in many nations. For example, in 2016, U.S. universities received approximately $38 billion from the federal government to conduct research, while federal or national labs received approximately $42 billion. In France, the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), which has 10 research institutes, receives about 80% of all public funds for R&D. In Germany, Max Planck Institutes, Hemholtz Centers, and Fraunhofer Institutes also receive a substantial share of public funds for R&D. Accordingly, GCTT places a high priority on collecting data from all types of institutions to address important basic research questions regarding the ecosystem that fosters managerial and organizational practices surrounding technology transfer. Private firms are part of this ecosystem, so we also address the needs of companies that partner with universities and federal/national labs on technology, e.g., the extent to which companies (both MNEs and SMEs) find value in cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) and other collaborative relationships with universities, federal/national labs, and public research institutes.      

Third, we have global emphasis with regard to activities and expertise. Thus, GCTT embraces an international or global perspective and scope, leveraging the latest cross-country research on societal, political, and economic systems across the globe. Indeed, technology transfer as an institution is embedded in the national/regional system of innovation. GCTT incorporates learning from the latest and largest study of national cultures in 172 countries, called the GLOBE 2020 research program (, to accelerate technology transfer (e.g., the development and dissemination of therapeutics during a pandemic). Our global network of researchers leverage the GLOBE 2020 research program’s unique cultural and societal findings to help facilitate generation and dissemination of knowledge on technology transfer across countries.


The world's leading experts

Based on our technology transfer and GLOBE social networks, we have assembled the world’s leading experts on technology transfer, representing 15 nations, who have had a major impact on national innovation policy and practice. Key institutions under the control of GCTT leadership, such as the Technology Transfer Society and the Journal of Technology Transfer, help us capitalize on global expertise on this subject. We also are able to leverage ASU’s connection to the University Innovation Alliance in the U.S. This ensures that in addition to conducting leading-edge research, we use our connections to global experts to develop the best educational programs and policy advice for many nations. 

In sum, we care about developing the global field of technology transfer. GCTT is a unique center of excellence, focused on helping advance research, identify and disseminate best practices and train the next generation of technology transfer scholars and managers. We exist to promote convergence of managerial practice and public policy, and accelerate the process of technology transfer for broader impacts. Moreover, GCTT serves as a role model in supporting such endeavors in many countries around the world.

Global Center for Technology Transfer
Global Center for Technology Transfer