The technology and scientific knowledge transfer enclose a set of actions aimed at facilitating commercial exploitation and social impact of research capabilities and out comings achieved by R&D activities.
The suitable background for knowledge transfer are innovation ecosystems and its effectiveness requires technology intelligence throughout the process stages. To identify risks, opportunities and potential collaboration synergies among scientific progress and the productive and social needs is the main goal of technology and knowledge transfer.
Identification and Assessment
Challenge: to be able to identify and evaluate potential technologies that benefit the organisation or an innovative project.
This first stage begins with technology determination needs. That means to establishes the criteria of the problem to be solved and focus on the search of the most suitable technology to answer it. In addition, its origin is determined by the organization’s innovation management model and is generated from two main routes:
- Technology requests: the organisation identifies the problem and the technology needed.
- Technology offers: the organisation offers its capacities and innovative technologies to solve problems.
Furthermore when matching the technology requests and offers it is important the impact assessment of implementing that technology in the organization, whether it is developed internally or acquired externally. For this, technology intelligence and several other instruments are available to help identifying and evaluating technology.
Main Technology identification and assessment tools:
- Technological audit and diagnostics.
- Analysis of the technological portfolio and decision matrices.
- Analysis of the maturity level of the technologies or TRLs.
- Technological roadmap for innovation.
- Market analysis.
Intellectual Property Rights
Challenge: to be able to generate value intangible assets, based on legal and strategic knowledge protection. Therefore strength R&D commercialisation opportunities through technological exploitation licenses.
Intellectual Property (IP) is a critical stage in technology transfer process and an essential element for technology intelligence. In addition to the generation of intangible assets around scientific knowledge, its effective management increases organisation’s innovative capacity and competitive advantages in the market.
Besides, we recommend the IP guide with all keys for an effective management of IP.
Challenge: to be able to increase R&D capabilities value and facilitate its the useful understanding, so to become more attractive for promotion, dissemination, communication and exploitation in the market.
This stage involves the generation of a technology portfolio, that includes the elaboration of technology offers and requests. There are many models with guidelines for its structure and contents, for instance the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), which openly offers its templates for preparing these types of documents.
Once these technological offers and request have been drafted, the knowledge-generating institutions usually publish them in catalogs or portfolios. The InnoUA is the technology catalog of the University of Alicante, and it is disseminated through several technology marketplaces as part of the main technology promotion plan.
Furthermore, the R&D valorisation stage involves the selection of the most appropriate technology mechanism/instrument or route for technology transfer to the market.
The most common ways of technology transfer are:
- Technological cooperation
- Technical assistance
- Intellectual and industrial property license agreements.
- Creation of companies or spinoff
- Staff mobility.
Promotion and detection of technology
Challenge: to be able to give the best selected dissemination to a technology offer or request in order to detect potential commercial exploitation organisations interested in.
The design of the technology promotion plan for maximum dissemination. To do this, many specialists apply specific marketing techniques, increasingly using social networks, events and network collaborations with business groups.
In addition, technology marketplaces play a crucial role in this dissemination stage as well as networking role such as the EEN. Proactive efforts are also increasingly important, such as the company partner search to participate in R&D collaborative projects.
Technology intelligence is essential at this stage, especially aimed at building interactions between scientific and productive sectors. On the one hand, technology intelligence helps research institutions to adjust technology products to the productive needs; and on the other, it allows companies to identify those interesting technologies, analyse its applications and explore cooperation opportunities and strategic alliances to strengthen innovation capacity.
Technology negotiation and agreements
Challenge: to achieve the technology commercial approach with economic and social profitability guarantees in your agreement.
This negotiation stage is one of the most complex and sensitive in the technology transfer process and usually is subject to confidentiality agreements. Information and negotiation are its main management elements, that’s why technology intelligence becomes an essential tool to verify, validate and guide the decision-making process.
Main types of technology agreements:
- R&D agreements: development under a previous contract for of R&D, advice, technical assistance, etc.
- R&D cooperation agreement: development of collaborative R&D through regional, national or international projects.
- Creation of technology-based firms derived from research out comings.
- Intellectual Property Licence agreements
- Acquisition of intellectual property rights as part of a purchase or merger.
- A joint venture agreement
- A franchise agreement