A technology transfer strategy based on the dynamics of the generation of intellectual property in Latin-America

Hermann Stuart Fuquen, Erika Sofía Olaya Escobar


Purpose: Latin American countries have adopted different models of units or transfer offices associated with improved competitiveness; however, it is unclear whether they have been successful or if they have been designed while taking into account the context and particularities of the region. This article aims to summarize the concept of transfer offices and the context of the generation of knowledge through patents in Latin America, and identify strategies that have been suggested in the literature to set up and operate this type of offices, based on the Latin American context.

Design/methodology/approach: Through a systemic literature review, academic articles indexed in the ISI Web of Knowledge and Scopus databases were analyzed to identify the literature related to the context of technology transfer and transfer offices. We cited and analyzed in depth a total of 40 articles. For a review of the Latin American context, 29 documents were reviewed and referenced. Previous documents were taken from specialized networks of the Scientific Information System REDALCYT and libraries of universities, such as the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, among others. Additionally, we added reports and publications by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL), and REDEMPRENDIA. Statistical data provided by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) were used for the analysis of patent generation cases in Latin American countries. Subsequently, the literature of the systematic review was compared with studies by authors and Latin American entities, which give a regional context to this work. Finally, strategies were discussed and identified for the consolidation of transfer offices that impact the generation of knowledge in the region.

Findings: The results of the literature review conducted revealed that several authors have proposed extensive mechanisms for transfer offices in Latin America that reject the general practices based on patent generation, due to the low generation of patents in the region. These mechanisms permit the generation and transfer of knowledge through different means. Therefore, the results of this article allow for a definition of strategies that has been adjusted to the reality and needs of Latin America, in order to consolidate the transfer offices.

Originality/value: The contribution made by this article is focused on identifying possible strategies for consolidating transfer offices that contribute to the technological development of Latin American countries, taking into account the cultural context and limitations of the institutions of higher education.


Patents in Latin America, applied research, transfer office models, transfer strategies, university-business relationship

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/ic.873

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2022

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience