Technology mining and/or scouting functions can assist regions in transferring and developing technologies. There are two distinct ways to exploit these functions for regional ED. The ﬁrst is to target technologies that could be of use to the local research base or early-stage companies. Partnering with the appropriate organization can help draw technologies from labs for local development and can also facilitate transfer from distant locations. Technology Tree, Yet2.com and UVentures are examples of ﬁrms that specialize in mining, transferring and developing technologies.
Another way lies in more traditional corporate defensive positioning. Many major companies are soliciting the services of technology scouts to identify novel technologies that could be useful to the company or that have disruptive capabilities. The intermediary can establish services to assist technology companies in monitoring disruptive capabilities, especially when there is a perception that regional innovation hinges on the activities of just a few companies. Strategies can also be developed to assist local companies to capture unrealized intellectual property opportunities.
Bendis created a programme that merged the concepts of technology mining while assisting both small and large companies. The programme is now a joint venture between BFTP of Southeast Pennsylvania and Phoenix IP Ventures and is supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. It encourages large companies to donate intellectual property and receive tax beneﬁts for their philanthropic efforts. The partnership then takes the donated intellectual property and works on its commercialization.