Technology Transfer is a form of active cooperation between universities and industry that allows ideas, knowledge, and revolutionary methods created in educational settings to find practical applications in the real world. (See: Technology Transfer: Changing the Role of Universities). In this interview, James Thompson and Aleks Merhle share their support for the use of Technology Transfer in developing nations. Despite marked differences in countries’ capacities and resources, every nation has potential for innovation. Innovation capital, in fact, has higher potential than manual labor, and is fueled by human creativity. An ideal way to empower this form of capital is to develop academic settings that maximize its growth and are vehicles to finding its practical applications.
Technology Transfer requires individuals and systems that can be found in any developing nation, including Guatemala. Thompson and Merhle identify entrepreneurs, investors and subject matter experts as the fundamental components of an ideal innovative team. The key, however, lies in bringing the problems and the producers of solutions together. Innovation requires determination, proactivity, and the necessary confidence to take risks and be resilient, even after failure. All of these are present in developing countries. Educational institutions can cooperate by providing settings that bring students, faculty, and members of innovative systems together with unsolved problems. For Thompson and Merhle, TOT is a great way to harness the Guatemalan entrepreneurial spirit.
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Universidad Francisco Marroquín