Publications By Topic


Here is a carefully selected sample of scholarly publications generated through the Center on KT4TT. Each document offers specific lessons drawn from our policy analysis and practical experience in the field of technological innovation.

Issues in Science, Technology & Innovation Policies

Most governmental organizations address socio-economic problems by funding universities to conduct R&D projects, instead of funding companies to do so. This paper explains why this indirect approach generates countless scholarly papers but results in few tangible solutions. Bridging the persistent gap between R&D and Application 

A book chapter explains why the inability of international policy bodies to clearly distinguish scientific research from engineering development hampers progress toward more efficient and effective STI policies and practices.

Scholarly debates over false dichotomies distracts from the fact that multiple forces influence technological innovation that all must align to benefit society.

It is more important to explore the causal links between inputs and outcomes than to accept entrenched assumptions regarding their relationships.

STI Policies in most nations neglect the critical role of the business, industry and the commercial marketplace, that leaves their global competitive status vulnerable to the one nation that is not neglecting those factors: China.

Argues that the United States would benefit from embracing abandoned past policies which were adopted successfully by a series of nations over the past 50 years.

Explains how the dominant paradigm of science research in technological innovation drove out serious consideration of the equally critical methods of engineering development and industrial production. "A Century of talks on research: What happened to development and production?" (2012).

Argues that debates over primacy of research or development are a false dichotomy diverting attention from a more fundamental understanding of the elements underlying innovation.

Three States of Knowledge – Origins, Relationships & Transitions

The paper explains the relationship between three states of knowledge generated through three related methodologies, and also describes the three processes through which knowledge moves between states and stakeholders.

The three methodologies of scientific research, engineering development and industrial production are each intentionally designed to generate new knowledge, but their knowledge outputs are embodied in three different states analogous to states of matter: conceptual discovery (gas), prototype invention (liquid) and commercial innovation (solid), respectively.

A three hour MSPowerpoint seminar traces the history of knowledge states from Aristotle to the present and explains how and why modern constructs and definitions became conflated and confused. Three methods and three states of knowledge underling technological innovation (2014).

Comprehensive Model of Technological Innovation

The Need to Knowledge (NtK) model explains technology-based product development by linking the methods of scientific research, engineering development and industrial production through nine activity stages and decision gates, along with supporting evidence drawn from academic and industry sources.

Building a logic model structure permits one to state a desired goal, then plan backwards through impact, outcome, output, process input to achieve the goal. The completed plan can then be implemented forward to achieve that goal, as shown in this detailed example for a technology innovation.

A two-part Webcast explains the Need to Knowledge Model in detail, and describes the supporting evidence drawn from existing literature. The presentations contain case examples, valuable citations, useful tips and analytic tools critical to the new products development process.


The analyses of data collected on four types of requirements — technical, marketing, business or customer — are necessary, complex, and often repeated within a single new product development project. This paper describes many of the tools available to perform these analyses, and explains where they are useful within the Need to Knowledge Model. Tools for Research, Development and Production.

This short PowerPoint, geared toward small businesses, entrepreneurs and clinicians, provides an overview of the Need to Knowledge Model, and offers information about the model’s supporting evidence and toolbox.

This technical brief is an excellent primer to the Need to Knowledge Model for grantees engaged in product development. It reviews the Model’s three phases and nine stages, and provides information regarding how to access the Model and its resources on the web.

This set of posters and coordinating papers present the evolution of the Need to Knowledge (NtK) model, beginning with a literature review intended to consolidate and organize new product development literature, while drawing out best practices. The rationale and methods involved in the development and validation of the NtK model are described. Past, current and future projects are outlined onto the game board version of the NtK, and are followed by a discussion of the NtK model’s implications for policy and practice.

Tools for Effective Knowledge Translation

Three randomized controlled studies compared the effectiveness of passive diffusion, targeted dissemination and tailored translation in increasing knowledge use by various stakeholders. A key result showed that relevance to the recipient — not format or media — determines the level of interest and use.  

Documenting evidence of new knowledge use by various stakeholder groups required the creation and validation of a valid instrument capable of assessing changes across the four knowledge levels of non-awareness, awareness, interest and use.

Repeated survey studies show that national member organizations offer an efficient and effective path through which investigators can share, translate and disseminate new findings to non-traditional audiences.

Conducting industry-standard focus groups early in the product design process ensures the resulting products are relevant the needs and interests of the actual customers.

Review these MS PowerPoint presentations and this technical brief to learn about three tools designed to aid academics who are engaged in technology transfer and knowledge translation efforts. 1) The Need to Knowledge Model for generating commercial devices and services; 2) the Knowledge Value Mapping survey for understanding stakeholders and their needs for and uses of research outputs; and 3) the Level of Knowledge Use Survey, an instrument crafted to explore the effectiveness of varying methods of knowledge communication.

This extended MS PowerPoint presentation will interest academics and practitioners involved in communicating R&D outputs to external parties. It is dense with information and resources related to intellectual property, knowledge translation and technology transfer. The material will help with the difficult process of engaging partners who are capable of transforming conceptual discoveries and tangible inventions into commercial innovations.

This study confirms and extends prior findings about the receptivity of national organizations to interacting with experts in related fields, and their willingness and capacity to communicate information from research studies to multiple non-traditional audiences. 

Tools for Successful Technology Transfer

A generic model for technology-based product development is placed into the context of a niche market called Assistive Technology.

A panel of experts explains that improving the lives of people with disabilities requires enhanced funding to consumers, clinicians and companies, and that such funding must be based on establishing more precise and appropriate standards and guidelines for use by government reimbursement agencies.  

This MS PowerPoint conference presentation opens the black box of innovation to show industry’s critical between scholarly research outputs and beneficial social impacts.

Five related articles cover different aspects of new product development, commercialization and outcome measurement in the context of Assistive Technology.

A longitudinal retrospective study of a dozen prestigious university-based R&D centers reveals that most projects fail to achieve the intended outcomes due to insufficient planning, management and collaboration with critical external partners.

This article provides descriptions and examples of critical events, activities, and stakeholders involved in the technology transfer process, with an emphasis on intermediaries who fund this type of work. It is an introduction and overview of effective practices, and is intended for technology-oriented program sponsors and project managers alike.

This paper outlines the critical barriers to brokering efforts between major U.S. university technology transfer offices and U.S. corporations and the corresponding carriers to overcome these barriers.

This presentation explains what Contextualized Knowledge Translation packages are, why they are needed to effectively communicate the value of a new product to potential transfer partners, and what key elements they must contain.

Tools for Achieving Invention Commercialization

This presentation describes the key elements every AT Inventor should know about commercializing their invention by providing a strategy, game plan and resources every inventor can use.

This presentation walks through through the first 180 days of the invention process, provides definitions and explanation of terms used, explains how to protect an idea while discussing it with others, and provides tips and anecdotes to consider how to process beyond this initial timeframe.

This presentation provides a process for Corporate/University Collaborations touching on various areas such as: Confidentiality Agreements or Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA’s); Defined Scope of Work for All Parties Involved; Personnel, Financial, and Facility Resource Commitments for both Corporate and University Entities; Finite Timeline for Project Duration; Intellectual Property Ownership Agreements; Defined Corporate Product Introduction Date; Researcher Publication Dates; Identification of Obstacles to a Joint R & D agreement; and Criteria for Vetting Potential Corporate Collaborators.

This presentation discusses the America Invents Act (AIA); how it changes the United States from a ‘First to Invent’ to a ‘First to File’ System and the significant changes to US patent law.

Market Research Resources

A short paper and power point presentation convey two key points — the importance of viewing the manufacturer as a customer of inventions in need of transfer to industry for commercialization; and the difference between industry standard market research methods, versus the academic approach.

This journal publication argues that the use of targeted focus groups early in the design process can allow developers to refine new product designs with direct input from their targeted users.

This training module offers detailed descriptions of industry standard methods for conducting surveys and focus groups.

A series of Industry Profiles describe the demographics, market and product information, legislation, and reimbursement considerations related to three assistive technology industry segments: Wheeled Mobility, Educational Technology, and Vision. A related poster details the process for creating industry profiles, expected outputs, and past industry profiles in the topic areas of wheeled mobility, education technology, and vision.