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  • 1 Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences, Yokohama National University, 79-7 Tokiwadai Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama 240-8501, Japan
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Abstract

The importance of domestic technology transfer from the public sector (universities and public research institutes) to industry is increasing in the era of science–driven innovation. One of the purposes of a triple helix of evolving university-government–industry relations is how to make use of universities and public research institutes for industrial development. This paper first discusses the means of domestic technology transfer and points out that spinning off companies is one ultimate way to transfer technology, after discussing the relation between a triple helix and technology transfer. Then, this paper presents a unique case of a public research institute before the end of World War II in Japan. This research institute established 63 companies, such as Ricoh and Okamoto. At the same time the institute excelled in science as well. The first two Nobel Prize Laureates of Japan were researchers of this research institute. The paper discusses the management of this institute and its group companies and enabling environment surrounding the institute and its group companies at that time. At the end, the paper draws some lessons for public research institutes and their spin-off companies today.

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