Mechanisms of technology transfer as elements of the strengthening of accumulated knowledge in the Mexican biopharmaceutical industry: The Case of the UDIBI - IPN

Ana Lilia Sánchez Regla, Alexandra Lizeth Ortiz Guzmán, María del Pilar Monserrat Pérez Hernández, Igor Rivera, Sonia Mayra Pérez Tapia


Introduction: The literature related to technology transfer (TT), has placed greater emphasis on organizations once they have established a collaborative link with higher education institutions (HEIs); however, there is little knowledge to observe the inverse effect, that is, the TT within an HEI after this interaction. This work deals with the case of a research and development laboratory (R & D) integrated to a federal public university, which, in addition to generating basic science for internal projects, offers technological services to the national and international biopharmaceutical sector; whose income allows them to self-finance their operation, using marginally the federal budget. Under an organizational and institutional approach, this article aims to publicize the mechanisms of TT that come together in this laboratory, but also, expose the contribution of these to the strengthening of their accumulated knowledge.

Method: This study was conducted from twenty-eight semi-structured interviews with personnel and external agents of the UDIBI, using differentiated questionnaires with open questions, and others, closed with Likert scales. Likewise, different collaboration agreements between this laboratory and other industry players were reviewed in order to observe the purpose of their interrelation. The processing of the information was done using the NVIVO software, which favored a more efficient analysis.

Results: The institutional laboratory studied requires the gathering of latest generation knowledge to develop its critical operation based on the generation of basic science and the offer of technological services. It was found that multiple and varied TT mechanisms (organizational and institutional) converge within this polytechnic entity, whose products are translated into knowledge of diverse nature that complements and enhances the accumulated base of our own knowledge and is the basis for the exploitation of scientific products. , technological and services of high value for both academia and industry. Another finding identified was that not only do these mechanisms transfer technology in only one direction; rather, given the contribution that this laboratory makes to its source of knowledge, the flow becomes bidirectional.

Discussion or Conclusion: The different mechanisms presented here are the product of the dynamics of the interaction that the laboratory studied with external and internal actors, where the assimilated knowledge of these, together with the own knowledge; but at the same time of a scientific-commercial vision on the part of its directive. All together, they form an important base of their current development, expansion, and even self-sustainability; representing, thus, one of the few cases of exception in Mexico, of similar scientific units integrated to public HEIs that aspire to transcend towards an enterprising approach of the universities.


technology transfer; technology transfer mechanisms; biotechnology; biopharmaceutical industry; higher education institutions; research and development; public university; technological services; basic science


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