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2 TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER SYSTEMSIN THE UNITED STATES AND GERMANY INTRODUCTION Part I of this report presents an overview of the structure, operation, and performance of major sectors of the national technology transfer systems in Ger- many and the United States and identifies opportunities for the two national sys- tems to learn from each other. It draws substantially on the two country reports prepared by the German and U.S. delegations to the binational panel on "Tech- nology Transfer Systems in the United States and Germany: Lessons and Per- spectives," with staff support from the National Academy of Engineering, Wash- ington, D.C., and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Karlsruhe. The U.S. and German country reports, Parts II and III of the report, are freestanding documents that map the technology transfer landscape in each coun- try in detail. This section of the report includes country-specific recommenda- tions for which each of the two national delegations is solely responsible, as well as joint recommendations that represent the consensus of the full binational panel. The focus of the panel's deliberations has been on systems and mechanisms involved in the transfer of technology (broadly defined) from organizations that perform research and development (R&D), but do not directly engage in the com- mercialization of technology, to organizations that use technology to produce commercial products and services. The principal organizations involved in this type of technology transfer are nonindustrial R&D performers: universities and affiliated institutions; government laboratories; and an array of public, private, and mixed (public and private) contract R&D institutes and consortia. The panel also looked at a diverse group of organizations (e.g., professional societies, in- dustry associations, and technology brokers) that performs little, if any, R&D of its own, yet plays an important role in facilitating technology transfer between the nonindustrial R&D performers and private industry. Although private companies producing goods and service perform the vast majority of R&D and technology transfer in both countries, intrafirm and interfirm technology transfer by technol- ogy users lies beyond the scope of the panel study. Understanding Technology Transfer The panel defines technology transfer as the movement of technological and technology-related organizational know-how among partners (individuals, insti- tutions, and enterprises) in order to enhance at least one partner' s knowledge and expertise and strengthen each partner's competitive position. Technology trans- fer occurs throughout all stages of the innovation process, from initial idea to final product. Like the innovation process proper, technology transfer is usually iterative, involving multiple transfer steps. Technology transfer can take place via informal interactions between individuals; formal consultancies, publications, workshops, personnel exchanges, and joint projects involving groups of experts from different organizations; and the more readily measured activities such as