Conjoint analysis of R&D contract agreements for industry-funded university research

So Young Sohn, Mooyeob Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Since the late nineteenth century, universities have been regarded as useful sources of technological development to stimulate economic activity. Therefore, many governments have encouraged research collaborations between universities and industries. A consequence of such collaboration in Korea, however, is that university researchers have difficulty claiming ownership of their technological developments. Typical contracts used in academia in Korea have biased benefits for industries. Research and development contract agreements that decrease negotiation efforts between the sectors of academia and industry are essential to increase the efficiency of industry-academia collaborations. In order to determine an optimal contract design, we use conjoint analysis of four attributes, including policies of ownership and compensation, indemnity responsibility, patent application and maintenance fees, and publication restrictions. The resulting preferences take into account the perspectives of both industry and academia. We expect our approach to contribute to increasingly healthy collaborations between industry and academia, which in turn will benefit industrial competition as well as the Korean economy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-549
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Technology Transfer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
As the role of universities in technology development has increased in Korea, patents submitted by universities have also increased. Universities accounted for 0.93% of patents registered in 2000, and 6.37% of registered patents in 2008 (Korean Intellectual Property Office 2008). This increase has occurred as a result of government activity formulating the intellectual property system in order to commercialize or transfer a result of research produced by universities. This system encourages university researchers to apply a patent. On the other hand, the importance of collaborative research between universities and firms has been greatly expanded. Although standard contracts associated with collaborative research are of growing interest and concern, the fact remains that contract agreements between parties are typically advantageous toward the party responsible for funding the projects. Moreover, researchers have little expertise and competence in negotiating contracts.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Accounting
  • Engineering(all)


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