The Management of Technology Transfer Plenary Paper

D. L. Bosman, James R. Bright, Peter F. Drucker


The future world economic development as well as the improvement of other aspects of the quality of life depends to a very large extent on technological development, which again depends essentially on the successful application of the process of technological innovation. This process with its various stages of research, development, engineering, and marketing cannot function without effective communication for the purpose of technology transfer, i.e., transferring knowledge between the stages.

It is important not only to understand the process of technological innovation and to realize that technology transfer is an essential part of it, but also to understand that technology transfer is the transferring of knowledge rather than of goods and services, and is dependent on successful communication. Further, technology transfer should be managed as part of the package of managing technological innovation, which should be purposeful and continuous rather than a response to haphazard demands.

One of the aims of the National Timber Research Institute is to promote the more efficient use of the South African wood resource as a reliable and economical structural material. Research results in this field have been successfully transferred to the South African forest products industry where 90 low cost stress-grading machines are now in use, and where stress-graded timber is selectively used in glulam products and 20% of all roof trusses.

The low cost grading machine, the grading system, the design data, the roof truss design method and computer program, as well as the glulam manufacturing systems, were developed by the National Timber Research Institute and transferred to industry by way of research steering committees, symposia, publications, industry-sponsored development contracts, and direct assistance in factories.


Economic development;technological innovation and transfer;research;management

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