Cash, community and coordination: the triple-C categorisation of technology transfer office organisational philosophy

  • Jasmine MeysmanEmail author
  • Sven H. De Cleyn
  • Johan Braet


Although Technology Transfer as a research topic has become more and more popular, the mission and vision statements of technology transfer offices (TTOs) and the impact they have on the technology transfer processes leading to the creation of spin-offs, is still unfamiliar terrain. As mission and vision are incorporated into the operational philosophy of a TTO, this paper aims to find out what operational philosophies currently exist and if they can be aggregated into a typology. An empirical study was performed through a survey of 51 European TTOs, representing different academic disciplines and affiliations. The results shows that currently, three operational philosophy types exist within European TTOs: Cash, Community and Cooperation. Consequently, the degree to which the licensing negotiation strategies for the creation of spin-offs matched the typology that TTOs proclaimed to adhere to was studied. The results show that, besides mission and vision, also the risk averseness of TTOs plays a major role in the operational philosophy.


Technology transfer Technology transfer office Triple C Operational philosophy Spin-offs Commercialisation Valorisation Mission Vision 

JEL classification

031 032 033 



We would like to thank Prof. Dr. Johan Springael for the assistance in finding a fitting statistical test for rank attributed data. We also want to extend our gratitude to the TTO experts that participated in our study. However, because of operational secrecy, they will remain anonymous.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.ImecLeuvenBelgium

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