Public institutes for testing and research called Kosetsushi constitute an important component of regional innovation policies in Japan. They are organized as a technology diffusion program to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) improve productivity through various technology transfer activities. Using comprehensive patent data, this study quantitatively evaluates technology transfer activities of Kosetsushi from the perspective of sectoral innovation systems. The key findings can be summarized as follows. First, local SMEs’ technological portfolios (the distribution of patents across technological fields) indicate a better fit with those of Kosetsushi than with those of local universities. This tendency is salient for manufacturing Kosetsushi. Second, Kosetsushi collaborate on research with local SMEs compared to local universities. This tendency is salient for manufacturing Kosetsushi. Third, in regions where SMEs’ innovative activities concentrate in biotechnology, Kosetsushi are likely to engage in licensing. In regions where SMEs’ innovative activities concentrate in mechanical engineering, Kosetsushi are likely to engage in technical consultation. Fourth, the successful commercialization of Kosetsushi patents relies on both understanding of technological needs of local SMEs and upgrading scientific quality of Kosetsushi researchers. Policy and research implications are discussed.
- Sectoral innovation systems
- Technology transfer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)
- Computer Science Applications
- Library and Information Sciences