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Barriers and facilitators to technology transfer of NIDILRR grantees

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journal contribution
posted on 22.09.2022, 17:20 authored by Erin Higgins, Michelle Zorrilla, Kathleen M. Murphy, Megan Robertson, Mary R. Goldberg, Susan K. Cohen, Nancy Augustine, Jonathan L. Pearlman

The objectives of this mixed-methods study were to gather survey and interview data about the barriers and facilitators from grantees funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) and to extract themes that could inform program changes that would increase technology translation (TT) success in assistive technology (AT).

We developed a TT Barriers and Facilitators survey consisting of Likert scale and multiple-choice questions about barriers and facilitators to TT. With survey respondents who were willing, we conducting a semi-structured interview and asked pointed questions to expand upon survey response rankings and perceived barriers and facilitators. The questions were framed to explore the grantee’s personal experience with ATTT and what helped and hindered their individualised processes.

Across survey and interview respondents, the three most common themes when exploring the barriers and facilitators of TT were funding, incentives, and collaboration.

Results indicate that there is a need for increased collaboration and access to additional resources such as funding for pilot grants, support to assess technology marketability, help to navigate regulatory and legal aspects, and assistance in establishing goals to help grantees successfully transfer assistive technologies to consumers. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION

A large amount of research and development into assistive technology does not lead to tech transfer which means that these technologies are not getting to the people that need them.

Educating tech transfer offices at universities about how to transfer AT would improve outcomes greatly.

Creating a community of practice where grantees can find academic or industry partners would also increase the likelihood of tech transfer.

Some tools to catalyse these improvements are: mentoring, access to consultants, podcasts, and online training.

A large amount of research and development into assistive technology does not lead to tech transfer which means that these technologies are not getting to the people that need them.

Educating tech transfer offices at universities about how to transfer AT would improve outcomes greatly.

Creating a community of practice where grantees can find academic or industry partners would also increase the likelihood of tech transfer.

Some tools to catalyse these improvements are: mentoring, access to consultants, podcasts, and online training.

Funding

This work was supported by The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research under grants # 90DPKT0002 and # 90DPKT0001.

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