Gender in Knowledge and Technology Transfer

Gender in Knowledge and Technology Transfer – Promoting Academic Entrepreneurship

2015 – 2018

Funded by BMBF

The purpose of knowledge and technology transfer (KTT) is to commercialize and promote scientific findings and technological advances to the public, which occurs through publications, patents, licenses, and start-ups. Decision-makers from the German scientific and political communities have long recognized the central role that transfer plays in driving economic growth and increasing the capacity for innovation. Domestic transfer activities, however, infrequently lead to viable businesses and sustainable innovations, particularly in comparison to many other industrial countries. Furthermore, substantially fewer women than men participate in these activities, which leads to an enormous waste of potential.

This project seeks to develop new, more inclusive and systematic approaches to knowledge and technology transfer that can help encourage researchers, both men and women, to participate. We are examining the current practices of several highly entrepreneurial research institutions and business organizations, both in and outside of Germany, by interviewing senior managers and both current and aspiring academic entrepreneurs about the following and similar matters:  

How can we encourage researchers, both men and women, to participate in transfer activities? Do men and women approach such activities differently, and how? What are the differences between their ultimate goals, strategies, and results? How can we introduce diverse perspectives into the transfer process?