Intermediation for technology diffusion and user innovation in a developing rural economy: a social learning perspective

Nick Theodorakopoulos*, David Bennett, Deycy J. Sánchez Preciado

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Technology intermediaries are seen as potent vehicles for addressing perennial problems in transferring technology from university to industry in developed and developing countries. This paper examines what constitutes effective user-end intermediation in a low-technology, developing economy context, which is an under-researched topic. The social learning in technological innovation framework is extended using situated learning theory in a longitudinal instrumental case study of an exemplar technology intermediation programme. The paper documents the role that academic-related research and advisory centres can play as intermediaries in brokering, facilitating and configuring technology, against the backdrop of a group of small-scale pisciculture businesses in a rural area of Colombia. In doing so, it demonstrates how technology intermediation activities can be optimized in the domestication and innofusion of technology amongst end-users. The design components featured in this instrumental case of intermediation can inform policy making and practice relating to technology transfer from university to rural industry. Future research on this subject should consider the intermediation components put forward, as well as the impact of such interventions, in different countries and industrial sectors. Such research would allow for theoretical replication and help improve technology domestication and innofusion in different contexts, especially in less-developed countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-662
Number of pages18
JournalEntrepreneurship and Regional Development
Issue number7-8
Early online date23 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Entrepreneurship & Regional Development on 23/10/2014, available online:


  • innofusion
  • regional development
  • rural industry
  • situated learning
  • technology transfer
  • university-to-industry intermediation


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