Inderscience Publishers

Software's "Functional Coding" and personnel mobility in technology transfer: linkage fields between industry and publicly funded research

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This paper shows how publicly funded basic research programs develop complex "linkage fields" over time. The dynamics of these linkage fields generate multiple possibilities of technology transfer that depend on their specific characteristics. On the basis of one of the 30 case studies done in the context of our DOE study, the "Synthesis and Optimisation of Chemical Processes" housed at a US university and funded by BES, this paper shows how the development of a linkage field leads to a specific form of technology transfer via personnel mobility. The production of software creates a special form of "functional coding" that facilitates the recontextualisation of personnel from publicly funded research to industry and vice versa. This case suggests the "linkage field" as a unit of analysis in the assessment of the impact of publicly funded research.

Keywords: technology transfer, tacit knowledge, codified knowledge, impact of research

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