Building Technology Transfer Capacity in Turkish Universities: a critical analysis

Ranga M., TEMEL S., Ar I. M. , YEŞİLAY R. B. , Sukan F. V.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION, vol.51, no.1, pp.90-106, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 51 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/ejed.12164
  • Page Numbers: pp.90-106


University technology transfer has been receiving significant government funding since 2012. Results of this major investment are now expected by the Turkish government and society, not only in terms of better teaching and research performance, but also of new jobs, new products and services, enhanced regional development and contribution to economic growth. This article examines the technology transfer capacity of Turkish universities and provides several policy recommendations for further improvement. The analysis uses the dataset of a recent project funded by the European Patent Office and managed by Ege University Science and Technology Centre (EU.EBILTEM-TTO) and the Turkish Patent Institute. This was the first large-scale national assessment of IPR activities in Turkish universities. The findings reveal an early-stage university technology transfer capacity, facing many challenges caused by low technology- and market-oriented research capacity, institutional obstacles to patenting, licensing and spin-offs, low IPR awareness and spread of IPR policies, and the current IPR regime. University-industry cooperation activities, such as contract research, joint projects and publications, consultancy, etc. that have been present for three decades in Turkey continue to be the major paradigm and tend to be considered as a separate strand from technology transfer activities, such as patenting, licensing and spin-off formation that are less developed. Systemic policy intervention expanded to the broader national innovation ecosystem to improve technology absorption capacity and interest in technology-driven innovation, together with a combined top-down/bottom-up transformative action that can accelerate the change of deeply-rooted old perceptions and practice.