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Technology Transfer and Society

Exhibitions and trade shows have long been a method of public exposure for inventors and innovators. This poster advertised the Calgary Exhibition, Calgary, Alberta, 1920.When research and development is ongoing, the results are typically only available to scientists, not the general public. When research and development is turned into an available product, innovation and technology spread throughout society. It is the hope of all institutions, organizations and innovators that when inventions, scientific findings and cutting-edge research are put to use everyone in society will stand to benefit.

There are many laws, institutions and corporations involved in the transition from the laboratory to the general public. Patent processes, intellectual property laws and institutions all play a role. In our society, government, universities and industry interact to facilitate technology transfer and ensure that this transition occurs to fulfil public and/or private needs. These groups encourage innovation by giving researchers support and providing them with services. Combined, these efforts make scientific and research discoveries the foundation of profitable companies.

Technology transfer is a complex process with many risks and potential gains—It is expensive, and each of the necessary stages can be risky. However, if a new product is truly revolutionary, the possibilities for a company to grow and society to benefit is enormous, and explains why so much care must be taken in technology transfer.

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