Putting research results into use: Interrogating knowledge transfer policies at the Indian institutes of technology
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Over the last decade, the links between academic research institutes (ARIs) and industry, has drawn substantial research and policy attention in science, technology and innovation policy related literature. This research attention towards academia–industry relations in recent years is not just confined to academic interest per se but is a reflection of the importance of science and engineering as one of the sources of technical change and science based innovation in national innovation policies of developed and developing countries (Shahid and Nabeshima, 2006). A number of factors have culminated towards making ARIs in science and technology as central actors of innovation and hence potential contributor to the economy as a whole. This study on Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) is an exploration of the different modes of knowledge transfer in the Indian context. The significance of this study is that it attempts to contribute to the body of literature on the role and place of ARIs (particularly the IITs) in the innovation system. The paper is organised as follows: situating the IITs in context is highlighted in the first section. This is followed by a brief discussion on the theoretical perspectives guiding the study. The third section very briefly highlights the knowledge resource base of IITs. The IITs, their modes of knowledge transfer, the points of interface with industry are described in the fourth section. The next section discusses the issues relating to research results that are put to use and focuses on the empirical results of the study. The section also attempts to link the policy level issues of the institute, both organisational and institutional, that associate with the innovation process. In the last section we draw conclusions.