Today, universities around the world find themselves going beyond the traditional roles of research and teaching to drive the development of local ecomies through collaborations with industry. At a time when regions with universities are seeking best practices among their peers, Shiri M. Breznitz argues against the tion that one university's successful techlogy transfer model can be easily transported to ather. Rather, the impact that a university can have on its local ecomy must be understood in terms of its idiosyncratic internal mechanisms, as well as the state and regional markets within which it operates.To illustrate her argument, Breznitz undertakes a comparative analysis of two universities, Yale and Cambridge, and the different outcomes of their attempts at techlogy commercialization in biotech. By contrasting these two universities-their unique policies, organizational structure, institutional culture, and location within distinct national polities-she makes a powerful case for the idea that techlogy transfer is dependent on highly variable historical and environmental factors. Breznitz highlights key features to weigh and engage in developing future university and ecomic development policies that are tailor-made for their contexts.
Shiri M. Breznitz is Assistant Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Her research examines regional economic development with a focus on the role of universities.