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Technology Transfer - Definitions

In November 2008, the Technology Transfer Workgroup compiled and defined the following seven technology words for the ATTC Network. These definitions will allow the Network to speak about technology transfer with one voice.

  1. Technology Transfer - A multidimensional process that intentionally promotes the use of an innovation. Technology transfer begins during the development of an innovation, continues through its dissemination, and extends into its early implementation. This process requires multiple stakeholders and resources, and involves activities related to the translation and adoption of an innovation. Technology transfer is designed to accelerate the diffusion of an innovation.
  2. Development - Creating and initially evaluating an innovation. An innovation can be an idea, technology, treatment or method.
  3. Translation - Explaining the essential elements and relevance of an innovation, then packaging it to facilitate dissemination. 
  4. Dissemination - Promoting awareness of an innovation with the goal of facilitating adoption and implementation. Dissemination strategies include raising awareness, building knowledge, and distributing materials. 
  5. Adoption - The process of deciding whether to use an innovation. Adoption may or may not lead to implementation. 
  6. Implementation - Incorporating an innovation into routine practice. Implementation ideally includes a range of strategies designed to address individual, organizational, and systemic characteristics (e.g., skills training, administrative buy-in, and policy changes).
  7. Diffusion - The planned or spontaneous spread of an innovation.