Tesis en repositorio Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (ANID)

Tesis en repositorio Biblioteca Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

PhD Thesis

Title: The discursive construction of value in the technology transfer process

The relevance that innovation has acquired in the last decade has led emerging countries like Chile to foster the link between academia and industry and, in this way, increasingly promote Technology Transfer. This transfer process is often carried out by a university and consists of transforming, through an Office of Technology Transfer and Licensing (OTTL), a research result into a technology that should generate economic and social benefit. Technology transfer as a social and collective practice requires, on the one hand, that OTTL agents “create value” about their roles and performance and, on the other, that entrepreneurial academics “create value” about their technologies. Within the framework of Discourse Studies and with a socio-constructionist approach, this doctoral research has aimed to understand the way in which value is constructed discursively in the process of technology transfer managed by the Office of Transfer and Development, the OTTL from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. For this, an analytical model, integrating key notions of social semiotics (in particular, the appraisal model of Martin & White, 2005; and the visual grammar of Kress and van Leeuwen, 2006, among others) and sociology knowledge (Keller, 2005, 2013), was designed to describe the vindication and circulation of value among OTTL agents and entrepreneurial scientists from social sciences and engineering. To observe the discursive construction in its spatiotemporal dimension, our corpus includes a set of multisemiotic data, issued between 2014, year in which the OTTL was launched, and 2018, date in which after four years of operation the institution had already reached a certain degree of maturity in their organizational and discursive processes. Among the most relevant results, the analysis of the data related to the OTTL allowed us to recognize at least two key aspects: on the one hand, the OTTL workers value their work, especially during its Public Account, evoking capacity meanings, related to the number of patent applications, which are usually intensified by means of “fuzzy quantification” (e.g., “more than 20 applications”, “about 50 million pesos”). On the other hand, the OTTL, after two years of operation, tends to multimodally value its mission through the elaboration of a discourse inclined towards a “social impact”. Finally, the analysis of entrepreneurial scientists’ discourse revealed how the normative alignment (misalignment in some cases) is configured between researchers, OTTL agents and the university with respect to the process of technology transfer. This doctoral research seeks to contribute to the knowledge of a social practice that is constructed discursively as a mechanism that articulates academia and industry to supposedly impact people’s quality of life.

Thesis-related articles

Thesis-related conferences

  • Tracing the value of ‘purpose’ in the corporate discourse of a technology transfer office. ABC Vienna, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria. August, 2021
  • La construcción de valor mediante lenguaje evaluativo como mecanismo de alineación normativa entre los actores del proceso de transferencia tecnológica. Jornadas de español para fines específicos de Viena (JEFE-Vi), Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria (online event), 23-34 April, 2021.
  • A proposal for exploring 'trust' in the promotional video of a Chilean Technology Transfer Office (TTO). Conference presented in the 10th Discourse, Communication and the Enterprise Conference, KU Leuven, Belgium, June 3rd-5th, 2019.
  • El discurso de la innovación: Construcción multimodal del valor en un video institucional de Transferencia Tecnológica. Ponencia parte de la mesa Trayectorias discursivas en el Ecosistema de innovación. Congreso ALES, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile, 13 de octubre de 2018.
  • What makes this text great?: Análisis multimodal del video de presentación de una Oficina de Transferencia y Licenciamiento. Novenas Jornadas de Estudiantes de Posgrado en Lingüística. Facultad de Letras, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, abril de 2018.
  • El discurso de la innovación: Análisis valorativo de tres videos institucionales en el ámbito de la transferencia tecnológica. XII Congreso Internacional ALED, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago de Chile, 16 de octubre de 2017.

Awaded Thesis

Title: Doctor Rodolfo Oroz Prize (Academia de la Lengua Chilena)

I was recipient of the Doctor Rodolfo Oroz prize, by Academia Chilena de la Lengua, for the best doctoral thesis written in the last two years in Chile.

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