Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 516135, 16 pages
Review Article

Conceptual and Empirical Themes regarding the Design of Technology Transfer Programs: A Review of Wood Utilization Research in the United States

1Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
2Forest Products Laboratory, US Department of Agriculture, Madison, WI 53726, USA

Received 7 March 2011; Revised 6 June 2011; Accepted 13 July 2011

Academic Editor: I. B. Vertinsky

Copyright © 2011 Paul V. Ellefson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Transfer of technologies produced by research is critical to innovation within all organizations. The intent of this paper is to take stock of the conceptual underpinnings of technology transfer processes as they relate to wood utilization research and to identify conditions that promote the successful transfer of research results. Conceptually, research utilization can be viewed from multiple perspectives, including the haphazard diffusion of knowledge in response to vague and imprecise demands for information, scanning of multiple information sources by individuals and organizations searching for useful scientific knowledge, engagement of third parties to organize research results and communicate them to potential users, and ongoing and active collaboration between researchers and potential users of research. Empirical evidence suggests that various types of programs can promote technology transfer (venture capital, angel investors, business incubators, extension services, tax incentives, and in-house entities), the fundamental effectiveness of which depends on research results that are scientifically valid and consistent with the information needs of potential users. Furthermore, evidence suggests preference toward programs that are appropriately organized and governed, suitably led and creatively administered, and periodically evaluated in accordance with clear standards of success.