Background Note | HBS Case Collection | August 2011 (Revised September 2011)

U.S. Universities and Technology Transfer

by Richard G. Hamermesh, Josh Lerner and Phillip Andrews


Technology transfer from U.S. universities to industry has increased dramatically in the last 25 years. Reviews the history of technology transfer with particular emphasis on the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980. It then examines how universities responded to Bayh-Dole, the growth of technology transfer offices, and compares how three different universities (MIT, Stanford, and Harvard) approach technology transfer. Provides an overview of the technology transfer process and issues around current practices.

Keywords: Higher Education; Technology; Laws and Statutes; Education Industry; Technology Industry; United States;


Hamermesh, Richard G., Josh Lerner, and Phillip Andrews. "U.S. Universities and Technology Transfer." Harvard Business School Background Note 812-016, August 2011. (Revised September 2011.)