The impact of technology complexity on the financial performance of R&D projects: evidence from Singapore

Sarah Cheah, Cristiano Bellavitis, Alessandro Muscio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Prior empirical research is inconclusive in determining whether technology complexity influences the financial performance of research commercialization projects and how various types of organizational resources contribute to performance. We analyse research commercialization projects involving the collaboration between public research institutes and private firms in Singapore. We examine how the technology complexity of these collaborative projects impacts their financial performance, measured by the licensing fees generated. In addition, we determine how human, financial, network and senior management resources moderate the relationship between technology complexity and financial performance of the projects. Our results indicate that the relationship is inverted U-shaped and moderated by project resources. We find that PRI-firm projects with higher human, network and senior management resources are better positioned to cope with complex technologies. However, investing abundant resources in low complexity technologies reduces the financial performance of projects. Surprisingly, financial resources do not have any significant moderating effect. Our findings are relevant to scholars investigating research commercialization and academic entrepreneurship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-458
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Technology Transfer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Academic entrepreneurship
  • Performance
  • Public research institution
  • Singapore
  • Technology complexity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Accounting
  • General Engineering


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