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Entering into a technology-based corporate partnering arrangement (or strategic technology alliance) is one of the most important decisions a company can make. Although a few companies have used these arrangements successfully for many years (for example, Corning’s Owens-Corning and Ciba-Corning ventures), technology-based corporate partnering arrangements really developed as an important strategic tool during the early to mid-1980s, when cash-hungry biotechnology companies began using them to help finance the enormously expensive clinical development of therapeutic products. Since then, these arrangements have become so important in the technology industries that many venture capitalists do not consider a technology company business plan complete without identification and discussion of possible corporate partners. Moreover, many technology firms for whom sufficient financing is otherwise readily available seek corporate partners in order to leverage their technology with another company’s marketing savvy, distribution channels, manufacturing capabilities and reputation.

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