Financing Knowledge Transfer in Europe – FinKT Final Conference

On the 16th and 17th of April, 2015, the University of Bologna held the final conference for the FinKT project in the city of Rimini, Italy. The project aimed to analyze the multidisciplinary environment of technology transfer in Europe and how to facilitate this process between universities, public research centers and industry.
FinKT was managed by the Department of Management of the University of Bologna together with Bocconi University and funded by the European Investment Bank.

Figure 1: Introduction of the FinKT ProjectFigure 1: Introduction of the FinKT Project

I had the chance to participate of the final conference and present a paper written with Prof. Lutz Maicher on how innovative IP literacy tools for SMEs can enhance knowledge transfer. We now possess some valuable feedbacks from experts in the field as well as suggestions of collaboration with other projects in Europe also aiming the increase on IP Literacy.

Besides presenting the paper and attending the presentations of relevant research from colleagues in different universities, valuable discussions with inputs of renowned professors and professionals from universities as well as TT and IP-related organizations took place at the conference.

During the opening of the conference Paola Giuri, FinKT Coordinator and Salvatore Torrisi, PRIN Coordinator, both from University of Bologna, welcomed the participants and explained in more details the project.

After the introduction, Salvatore Torrisi chaired the first plenary session regarding Technology Transfer, Physical Proximity and virtual communities with the participation of Maryann Feldman (University of North Carolina, USA), Stefan Haefliger (Cass Business School – City University, UK) Bart Clarysse (Imperial College London UK).

After the first plenary sessions, many researchers from renowned universities and institutes, as well as business consultants, presented relevant results from different studies. The researches approach topics as far as patent strategies, universities spin-offs and knowledge transfer, policy perspectives, fostering academic knowledge and exploitation, financing innovation and knowledge transfer, search and collaborative innovation, international comparisons, etc.

Also, important reports and projects were presented at the conference. Nikolaus Thumm, from the European Commission, presented the Expert Group report on Patent Aggregation. Martin Bader (University of St. Gallen in Switzerland) presented the report on Markets for Technology: how an organized patent market can improve technology transfer. Pete Frederick, from Pera Consulting, presented the European Commission project called Progress TT, which aims to seek the best practices within the high performing TTOs in Europe and share them with the other offices in order to improve their results. Our Competitive Intelligence group participated in the patent market report and is actively engaged on the Progress TT project.

On the second day, a roundtable on Policies and Instruments to Enhance Knowledge Transfer took place involving experts from different institutions. They presented some actions taken in different institutions to improve the environment of technology transfer and also exposed different concerns regarding the future of TT in the European Union.

Figure 2: Panelists of the Roundtable on Policies and Instruments to Enhance Knowledge TransferFigure 2: Panelists of the Roundtable on Policies and Instruments to Enhance Knowledge Transfer

Maryann Feldman (University of North Carolina, USA), Nikolaus Thumm (European Commission), Nicola Searle (UK IP Office), Spela Stres (Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia), Nicolas Carboni (C.U.R.I.E., France) and Massimiliano Granieri (ASTP – Proton) discussed the future investments on European TTOs and the best ways to allocate resources for general research and engage universities with business. The roundtable also counted with the participation of Ashish Arora (Duke University, USA) who collaborated with some input and cited examples of technology transfer practices in the US.

Different practices in various countries were exposed, contributing with relevant information for future projects regarding knowledge transfer in Europe.