Foundations of the quantitative modelling of technology transfer office spin-off creation performance in academic institutions - Based on research on 51 academic technology transfer offices around Europe

Date: 19 October 2018

Venue: University of Antwerp, Promotiezaal Grauwzusters - Lange Sint-Annastraat 7 - 2000 Antwerpen (route: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus)

Time: 5:00 PM

PhD candidate: Jasmine Meysman

Principal investigator: Prof. dr. Johan Braet, Prof. dr. Sven De Cleyn

Short description: PhD defence Jasmine Meysman - Faculty of Business and Economics


In recent European reports, Flanders is considered a very innovative region. This can be attributed to the presence of top-ranked universities, specialized strategic research centres and a world-renowned education system. The same reports, however, show that the knowledge that is created within the Flemish universities and research centres insufficiently finds its way into the industry and community. In order to facilitate this transfer, the government has put in place different initiatives and measures, such as dedicated subsidy schemes and technology transfer offices (TTOs).

The question remains, however, how the performance of these measures can be determined. In the case of a TTO, for example, there are international rankings, comparing TTOs from different countries. These rankings often seem to contradict each other, or are incomplete. Next to that, the performance of a TTO also depends on the context in which it operates: the size of the affiliated academic institutions, the academic disciplines represented in said institutions, the way the TTO is embedded into (or outside) its affiliated organization and the presence of certain economic actors in the broad environment of the TTO could influence its operations. On top of that comes the definition of ‘good performance’, which depends heavily on the stakeholders’ perspective.

Therefore, the goal of this PhD is to develop a quantitative model that determines the performance of a TTO. The scope of this research project, however, is limited to the evaluation of the performance of academic TTOs with regard to their spin-off creation processes. The definition of ‘good performance’ will be determined from the stakeholders’ perspective of the government.

In order to develop this quantitative model, I studied the TTO processes, tasks, configuration and organisational philosophy in a European context. I also studied the current reporting requirements of European TTOs towards their respective governments and found that there is currently no consensus on if, what and how to report. Based on the results from the aforementioned research angles, both an ideal-world multivariate model and a limited mathematical model for the quantitative evaluation of spin-off creation performance of TTOs was developed.