Transfer of technology and cooperation between University and SME's
Problem and context:
The strategic goal of the University of Rijeka (UNIRI) is to become a research-based university that actively cooperates with its surroundings. That implies the establishment of an innovation system at the University which can successfully connect researchers, students, entrepreneurs and the entire community as well as to promote a culture of innovation and a knowledge-based economy. From the perspective of the University, a successful innovation system is the one that can transfer ideas, research results, knowledge and technology to the business sector in a form of new or upgraded products and services and to enable their commercial implementation. Also, a successful innovation system must enable a transfer of knowledge, experience and technologies from business sector and their subsequent use in the activities of the University.
For successful technology transfer system, there are 2 main preconditions which must be satisfied: infrastructural and regulative preconditions. While the base for technology/knowledge transfer activities are Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). TTO has a central role in the UNIRI Technology Transfer System because it represents an important link between academia and industry. The role of TTO is to screen, evaluate, protect and , commercialize generated IP. Beneficiaries are academic and business community representatives, researchers, experts, etc. Main stakeholders are the University and its components.
Technology Transfer Office was established in March 2009 within Science and Technology Project (STP) financed by the World Bank.
Support program for technology transfer offices in Croatia (TTO Program) is financed by the World Bank loan and implemented by the Croatian Agency for SMEs.
Evidence of success
Four projects have successfully been implemented (total value 170.000 Eur):
1. Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Training Model
2. Immunotoxin for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme
3. New feature for enhancing the level of objectivity in specific field using ultrasound diagnostics
4. Monoclonal antibody bank to viral and cellular proteins.
Some of the results achieved: Commercial potential evaluations; Economic valorization of IP; Business models development;
Support Program for technology transfer offices helped TTOs to develop and start commercialization activities
Program assured financial resources for all relevant technology commercialization activities
Network and database of relevant contacts
Potential for learning or transfer
This practice may be potentially interesting in other regions because of the clearly set goals that determine the TTO activities as well as detailed procedure regarding IP protection and commercialization, which as such can serve as quality guidelines for the establishment of innovation networks. Main goals of the TTO at University of Rijeka are:
● to create the university environment that encourages generation of new knowledge;
● to motivate development and dissemination of intellectual property created at UNIRI;
● to provide an organizational structure and procedures through which research results may be prepared for protection and commercialization;
● to determine the rights and obligations of the University and creators of intellectual property (researchers);
● to ensure that the financial returns from IP;
● to ensure that commercialization do not distort decisions and operations at the University.