To read this content please select one of the options below:

Measuring university technology transfer efficiency: a maturity level approach

Giustina Secundo (Department of Innovation for Engineering, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy)
Christle De Beer (Department of Industrial Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa)
Giuseppina Passiante (Department of Innovation for Engineering, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy)

Measuring Business Excellence

ISSN: 1368-3047

Article publication date: 15 August 2016




The process of innovation in developing countries is different from that of developed countries, with mature technologies often being adopted with limited success. Universities are increasingly being viewed by policymakers as engines of innovation through the technology transfer office (TTO). However, with the adoption of various new intellectual property right legislation, university TTOs in developing countries have had an inefficient approach to technology transfer. Framed in the above premises, this study aims to develop a Maturity Model to measure, through non-monetary indicators, the efficiency of TTOs.


The Maturity Model is inspired by the Berkley (PM)2 Model which allows an organization to determine strengths and weaknesses and to focus on weak practices to achieve higher maturity. Fuzzy analytical hierarchy process is adopted to determine the priorities and weights of the non-monetary indicators because they are ambiguous.


The Maturity Model to measure the efficiency of TTO cover the following efficiency areas: intellectual property strategy and policy; organization design and structure; human resource; technology; industry links; and networking. The model provides a theoretical continuum along which the process of maturity can be developed incrementally in TTO from one level to the next, moving from awareness, defined, managed, integrated and sustained stage.

Research limitations/implications

The Maturity Model needs to be tested and applied in TTOs in developing countries.

Practical implications

The Maturity Model provides a means to sustain the decision-making process more effectively, especially in those countries considered as an inefficient innovator.


The findings inform the design of a customizable solution to barriers to the success of technology transfer and highlight weaknesses within each institution or TTOs efficiency.



Secundo, G., De Beer, C. and Passiante, G. (2016), "Measuring university technology transfer efficiency: a maturity level approach", Measuring Business Excellence, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 42-54.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles