New Report Reveals How Research Centers Can Achieve Economic Sustainability

  • Report on technology transfer offers 12 business models to help research centers commercialize their discoveries


BARCELONA, Spain--()--A new report by IESE Business School´s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center sets out to address a major issue faced by leaders of research centers around the world: how to achieve economic sustainability while preserving academic quality.

“Technology Transfer: Commercializing Discoveries at Research Centers Through Linked Innovation” was conducted by Josemaria Siota and Antonio Dávila of IESE Business School, in collaboration with Opinno's Xavier Contijoch, the European Commission, National University of Ireland Galway, Roma Tre University, European Young Innovators Forum, VentureHub, and Translated. Based on a four-year analysis of 3,881 research centers in 107 countries, it offers a handy guide for how research leaders can best commercialize their discoveries.

While research centers are crucial for developing new technologies and scientific discoveries, every year many are shutdown. The authors say these closures often stem from a failure to turn research ideas into economic value, rendering the innovation research unsustainable or broken.

To counteract this, the 40-page report tracks three phases of centers' work: (1) research (discovery), (2) transformation (invention) and (3) commercialization (innovation). It then presents a quick overview of six gaps to watch out for, 18 mechanisms to address them and 12 business models (with successful examples) that are working at research centers within universities, industry and government. These are:

1. Short-term external contracting

2. Medium-term external contracting

3. Long-term external contracting

4. Internal contracting through transfer pricing

5. Freemium product/service

6. Research licensing

7. Technology transfer by public funding

8. Creation of spin-offs

9. The search model

10. The consultancy joint venture

11. Short-term marketing collaboration

12. Long-term marketing collaboration

Link to full report:


About IESE Business School

IESE is the graduate business school of the University of Navarra. Founded in 1958, the school is one of the world’s most international business schools, with campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, Munich, New York and São Paulo. For sixty years, IESE has sought to develop business leaders with solid business skills, a global mind-set and a desire to make a positive impact on society. In the last five years, IESE has been ranked 1st in the world for Executive Education by the Financial Times.


IESE Business School
Mallory Dees
International Communications
+34 912113197

Release Summary

A new report by IESE Business School offers a guide for how research leaders can achieve economic sustainability while preserving academic quality.


IESE Business School
Mallory Dees
International Communications
+34 912113197