One of Europe’s major weaknesses lies in its inferiority in terms of transforming the results of technological research and skills into innovations and competitive advantages (European Commission, 1995, p. 8). Technology transfer is a key aspect of economic development and research administration. These concerns are shared equally between academia and industry on both sides of the Atlantic. As technology is developed at a greater rate, concerns about the technology transfer will heighten. This article focuses on technology transfer in Ireland, particularly in the SME (Small and Medium size Enterprises, under 250 employees) sector. As the main Lisbon Objective has not been met in Europe (“Europe is to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion”), the authors suggest a better model of technology transfer applicable not only to Ireland and Europe, but with possibilities for the United States. Demonstrating the international dimensions of technology transfer, the article also provides an American perspective, demonstrating commonality of interest yet subtle differences. Research Management Review, Volume 15, Number 1 Winter/Spring 2006 2 THE EUROPEAN UNION’S STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE FOR INNOVATION Since the publication of the European Commission’s Green Paper on Innovation, there has been general acknowledgment of the need to address the European Paradox, as outlined in Figure 1, in which EU scientific performance, as measured by number of scientific publications, was deemed superior to the that of the U.S. and Japan but technical performance, as measured by patents, was deemed inferior. Half a decade later, the European Council of Ministers proudly stated in Lisbon that they had reached a clearly identifiable measurable strategic objective. By this decade’s end, Europe is “to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion” (Fontaine, 2000, p. 5). Note: DAE=Developing Asian Economies; BERD=Business Enterprise Expenditure on R&D Figure 1: First European Report on Science & Technology Indicators (European Commission, 1994) For the past five years, very influential and powerful European Commission mechanisms, supported by national policies and directives, have driven wave after wave of initiatives, pushing research and enterprise with the aim of overtaking Europe’s main trading partners in terms of effectively commercializing new knowledge. The European Commission’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate has closely measured Europe’s activity in this area, with its latest release in January 2005 of information on EU member country performance as compared to that of the other main trading blocks (European Commission, 2005a). Figure 2, in summarizing recent performance, shows that European performance has not been as good as might be expected. The recent review by The World Economic Forum concludes: “the EU as a whole receives lower scores than the US in seven out of eight Lisbon dimensions” (Blanke & Lopez-Carlos, 2004, p. 14). This has led to open acknowledgment by the highest levels of the Commission that the gap is actually widening. Jose Manuel Barroso, the EU President, bluntly states, “the EU is falling behind on its Lisbon objective of making Europe the most competitive economy in the world” (Barroso, 2005). Propensity of the EU, U.S., Japan and the DAE to produce results a. Scientific performance (number of publications b. Technological performance (number of per million ecus, at 1987 U.S. prices, non-BERD) patents per million ecus, at 1987 U.S. prices, BERD)

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