European Union Research and Innovation policy: Implementation of Technology Transfer network for research projects
Topic: Open Science & Responsible Research & Innovation
Background: Most HEIs need to be part of networks to get their innovations and develop special research projects focused on technology transfer and to rapidly create new collaboration and synergies with SMEs. The creation of “joint labs” between university (HEIs) or public research bodies (PRIs) and industry (SMEs), in a specific area (e.g., biotechnology) is crucial to sustaining new high–tech industries.
Although there exists a well-developed tradition of industrial network research there is a lack of individuals who are appropriately trained with high-level technical and academic skills, complemented with business-oriented professional skills and a creative, independent entrepreneurial spirit which could be crucial to implement an EU strategy on Biotech and Health fields. This is one of the Innovation policy priority areas for the EU as well as an area of research that is scoring high concerning R&D expenditures.
Needs: However, the valorization of the research outputs in the Biotech and Health fields is very low and does not fully exploit its potential to support innovation levels within the EU and beyond.
Further funding focused on technology transfer of academia into the commercial world are therefore crucially important. Universities teach basic sciences, such as genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, etc. with a rather narrow academic perspective and often without a sufficient reference to the possible commercialization of ideas and new technologies. According to COM(2017) 2476 final in comparison to the US and Japan, too few Ph.D. holders in the EU go on to work outside academia. Up to 75% of Ph.D. graduates remain in higher education, state research institutes, or public service. Therefore, relatively few highly qualified students currently consider the industry as a future employer or even consider setting up an independent spin-off/start-up company. HEIs need to promote this through greater focus on funding programs on the application of knowledge transfer and interaction with future employers and promote creative entrepreneurial thinking. This approach has been promoted since 2006 (COM(2006) 337) implementing the Community Lisbon Programme: fostering entrepreneurial mindsets through education and learning, requiring universities and technical institutes to integrate entrepreneurship as an important part of the curriculum, spread across different subjects, encourage students to take entrepreneurship courses and promote mobility between the university and the business world.
Among the most recent documents, the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan identifies entrepreneurial education and training as one of the three areas, requiring immediate intervention. According to the Plan, entrepreneurship education should be accomplished through hands-on, real-life experiences, and research projects, as well as promoted beyond educational institutions to businesses and the wider community.
Conclusions: Therefore, the relevance of the technology transfer network has been greatly increased due to interdisciplinary modern innovations, and cross-sectoral collaboration in research projects implementation. This allows to development perspective national technology transfer model based on the concept of the innovation ecosystem and open innovation. Being knowledge actors, HEIs, PRIs, and SMEs play a vital role in technology transfer. The results of this analysis address an empirical study to develop a systematic conceptual Model of Innovation network of technology transfer that will help academics, policymakers, government, and business owners with a more depth understanding of the practical mechanisms that support innovation policy strategy.
Abstract topic: Technology transfer; Innovation; Networks; Biotech; Health