Equity and the technology transfer strategies of American research universities

Maryann Feldman, Irwin Feller, Janet Bercovitz, Richard Burton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


American universities are experimenting with new mechanisms for promoting the commercialization of academic research and generating revenue from university intellectual property. This paper discusses mechanisms available to universities in managing the commercialization of intellectual property, considering equity as a technology transfer mechanism that offers advantages for both generating revenue and aligning the interests of universities, industry and faculty. Employing data from a national survey of Carnegie I and Carnegie II institutions, we document the recent rise in university equity holdings. We present and estimate a model that considers the university's use of equity to be a function of behavioral factors related to the university's prior experiences with licensing, success relative to other institutions, and the organization of the technology transfer office, as well as structural characteristics related to university type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-121
Number of pages17
JournalManagement Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic Patents
  • Equity Financing
  • Licensing
  • Technology Transfer
  • University-Industry Relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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