International University Research Ventures Implications for US Economic Competitiveness and National Security

Project Overview. This project studies the quantity, quality, and implications of joint research ventures between American universities and foreign universities/research institutes. Specifically, we seek to gather data on the recent expansion of research-oriented (not education-oriented) foreign campuses and offices. Who is participating? What kinds of knowledge are being transferred? What is the direction and balance of knowledge flows? Who is exploiting the knowledge and for what purposes? What are the policy implications? What are the repercussions for US national security and economic competitiveness, as well as for regional innovation clusters? We are especially interested in joint research ventures between US universities and those in countries considered to be economic or military competitors. We will also scan globally to identify activities in developed, emerging, and developing economies. Within this context, we will investigate the research communities that are established around the US and other international university research centers, including third-party linkages. To date, these international university research ventures and their linkages have been little studied.

Approach and Expected Results. Our methodological approach includes web-scraping, interviews, on-site case studies, and a workshop on university R&D internationalization. The results are expected to inform political and economic theories about technology transfer, innovation, economic competitiveness, and democratization/civil society. The data can be used to track participants, outputs, activities, and linkages over time, thus laying the baseline for future impact studies and theory testing. The results will also aid US policymakers to better identify and understand the sources of national competitive advantage in science and technology and the mechanisms of technology transfer.


Yin Li, Sergey Kolesnikov, Seokkyun Woo, Jon Schmidt, Olufunke Adebola, Mark Zachary Taylor, Jan Youtie, Philip Shapira, Juan Rogers (2016). International University Research Ventures (IURV) Findings from U.S. Universities, August, 2016

Jan Youtie, Yin Li, Juan Rogers, Philip Shapira (2017). Institutionalization of international university research ventures, Research Policy 46(9), 1692-1704.

Sergey Kolesnikov, Seokkyun Woo, Yin Li, Philip Shapira, Jan Youtie (2017). Mapping the emergence of international university research ventures. Journal of Technology Transfer, DOI:

Jon Schmid, Sergey Kolesnikov, Jan Youtie (2017). Plans versus Experiences in Transitioning Transnational Education into Research and Economic Development: A Case Study. Science and Public Policy, DOI:


Prof. Mark Zachary Taylor (PI) | Sam Nunn School of International Affairs

Dr. Jan Youtie (Co-PI) | Enterprise Innovation Institute

Prof. Philip Shapira (Co-PI) | School of Public Policy

Prof. Juan Rogers (Co-PI) | School of Public Policy

Sponsor. Army Research Office, US Department of Defense, Proposal 67397-LS: Agreement #W911NF-15-1-0322

For more information: Contact: Zak Taylor, School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30318, USA. Tel: +1 404-385-0600.

Email: mzak [at] or Jan Youtie, jan.youtie [at]