Spin-off system represents a connection point between research and productive world, the quickest way to transfer results from research laboratories to market
Spin-offs are innovative companies that are born on the initiative of University research staff, structured or not, and that base their business on innovative goods and services, conceived and developed by enhancing the results of the research activities carried out in the University . In Calabria significative applications are related to agriculture transformation. A successful spin-off is Technest, the incubator for innovative start-ups of the University of Calabria, born in 2010. It offers access to incubation, pre-incubation and virtual incubation programs. It has an area of 2,000 square meters, with 20 equipped rooms for coworking, 6 administrative offices, a multimedia meeting room and common areas, as well as logistic and infrastructural services. Specialized services are: training and assistance on business creation and management; support in networking activities, research programs and internationalization; enhancement and management of intellectual property; support for access to finance and venture capital; mentorship on business plan and business model analysis; support for acceleration processes.
The resources to establish a spin-off depend on the type of production and the commercial volumes to achieve. The creation of spin-offs increases in parallel with the importance of funding external to the academic circuit (private, public-private and EU funds)
Evidence of success
Technest hosts 12 high-tech startups. From this incubator is born Reolì, the "Spread Bio-Oil" developed by the Rheology and Food Engineering Laboratory of the UNICAL. The startup Reolì Srl is an exceptional result of the industrialization of a made in Italy patent, financed under the National Operative Program Research and Competitiveness 2007-2013.
From this experience a university master's degree in engineering applied to agri-food was started in UNICAL.
The main difficulties in the process is the saleability of products, a creation of a sell market, like any profitable company and consequentially its sustainability
Potential for learning or transfer
Spin-off profile represents an important way to put into action what research world produces in terms of commercial goods, using directly the same actors who intervene in the research process. This model is replicable all over the world both in any country which is able to put in connection universities and research centers to markets