Project launched by the Regional Government of Castilla y León to improve links between the academic and business world.
TCUE is the Spanish acronym of ‘University-Business Knowledge Transfer’, a project launched by the Regional Government of Castilla y León. It began in 2008 as part of the Regional R&D and Innovation Strategy of Castilla y León 2007-2013, and is now part of Research and innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation 2014-2020 of Castilla y León (RIS3).
Three programmes designed to that effect:
- University ecosystem for the transfer of knowledge.
- Promotion of university - business collaboration and open innovation.
- Impulse to university entrepreneurship.
TCUE’s specific objectives are to:
● Recruit specialist human resources for university knowledge transfer offices to facilitate university-business interaction. Bring the university science-technology offer into line with the needs of the region’s production sector.
● Increase the number of joint projects between universities and companies presented to regional, national and European R&D and Innovation support programmes.
● Increase the number of company- and business-oriented patents and intellectual property rights registered and commercialized by the universities of Castilla y León.
● Ensure the academic world creates more spin-offs and technology-based firms.
Castilla y León region (Burgos is one of the nine provinces of it) has a powerful university system with 9 universities in all, 4 public and 5 private. All 9 universities in all, 4 public and 5 private.
The new strategy TCUE (2018 – 2020) – which will be implemented in the whole region of Castilla y León – is considering the use of 7,875 M€ to develop all drafted activities.
Evidence of success
Results obtained from 2008:
● 135 M€ in R & D (private) and consulting activities.
● Support to 1.821 entrepreneurs and promoting the elaboration of 667 business plans (establishment of 190 new companies).
● 299 patent applications.
● 335 new software and applications.
● They have also presented 885 proposals with companies for applying funds at European level for R&D&I, as well as 499 proposals, also with
companies, to national support programs for this type of activity.
Lessons learned: successful strategy very well appreciated for all its users and entities involved, giving service to companies, entrepreneurs and different stakeholders working with universities in Castilla y León region.
Potential for learning or transfer
All this effort from the year 2008 has supposed an evident improvement in the processes of university knowledge transfer in Castilla y León. Thus, comparing the annual averages of the period before to TCUE (years 2005-2007) with those obtained during the period of validity of the Plan, it is observed that the annual billing for R&D and consulting activities has increased by almost 30% in spite of the incidence of the economic crisis during these years; the annual rate of business creation has quadrupled and patent applications have multiplied their average by more than three and a half times.
On these grounds, this practice could be successfully implemented in other regions with a medium-strong university environment.
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