Innovation Intermediaries: Why Internet Marketplaces for Technology Have Not Yet Met the Expectations



A few years ago, internet marketplaces for technology, e.g.,, received great attention. In the light of open innovation processes, it was assumed that they could be an appropriate means to overcome the imperfections in the markets for technology. Little is known about the performance of these innovation intermediaries, and very limited information is provided by the firms that run the marketplaces. Therefore, we have interviewed intellectual property and technology managers in 25 medium-sized and large industrial companies, who represent the potential licensees and licensors in the internet exchanges. The results show relatively limited success rates of internet marketplaces regarding the number of technology transactions that have been initiated, particularly in comparison with the hopes that had initially been placed in these tools. Moreover, important problems and recent trends in these web-enabled exchanges are identified, and propositions are developed regarding major consequences for initiating and managing technology transactions.