Nurturing entrepreneurs: How do technology transfer professionals bridge the Valley of Death in Japan?

Megumi Takata, Koichi Nakagawa, Mari Yoshida, Terumasa Matsuyuki, Toshihiko Matsuhashi, Kosuke Kato, Ashley J. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The study aims to clarify the behavioral patterns of technology transfer professionals (TTPs) required in university technology commercialization. In the past, TTPs simply transferred technology using functional skills and experience gained in specific science/business fields; however, now they are often required to be entrepreneurial in the process, as mentioned in the literature and manuals on the TTP's job. However, we know little about what type of behavioral patterns of entrepreneurship are required for TTPs. Through our explorative case studies of veteran TTPs in Japan, we found concrete behavioral patterns within the theoretical framework of effectuation. TTPs start with the means they can use, try to set temporary goals under high uncertainty, raise technological value using affordable resources, and get stakeholders' involvement. In performing these activities, they take control of emerging situations and iterate several trial-and-error processes to deal with contingencies to accomplish their technology transfer projects. We found that entrepreneurial universities require TTPs who possess not only functional skills but also an understanding of how TTPs act to bridge the Valley of Death.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102161
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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