PROGRESS-TT offers four different types of events, catering for European technology transfer professionals at different levels of their professional development, at no costs; the training sessions, for those relatively new in the field; the webinar, for those with a minimum of 3 years of experience; the workshop for those with a minimum of 5 years of experience; and the boot camp for most senior staff and head of TTOs.
Led by ASTP-Proton, the project has delivered 12 out of 16 events (four training, three webinars, two workshops and three boot camps) with a satisfaction rate of 88% i.e. attendees rating the event(s) as very good to excellent. Register and save the dates to the last four events of PROGRESS-TT, see full list of upcoming events.
What people say about PROGRESS-TT training events:
“Very well organised and practical event with speakers clearly very experienced and experts in their field – lots of food for thought when I get home” – Miriam Walsh, TEAGASC, Ireland
“Case studies are a good basics for training and discussion but it is more interesting when case studies are integrated and combined with experts’ own experience and knowledge” – N.N.
“It was a profitable opportunity to exchange experiences with other TTOs” – Tiago Botelho, IRB Barcelona, Spain
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The beginning of 2017 has been very busy on the front of PROGRESS-TT’s coaching programme. Whilst the first batch of 15 TTOs selected in June 2016 has been proceeding with the delivery of the action plans, a new cohort of 15 TTOs has started working with their assigned coaches as of 1st February. In total 30 TTOs and 15 coaches are therefore in the midst of the delivery of 360 days of face-to-face, personalised support based primarily on a coaching approach.
Each case is interesting and brings its own challenges; for example, in the case of Christophe Haunold and the Cluster of three Italian Technology Transfer Offices looking the coach and the TTO staff involved are looking at defining a model of collaboration to ensure sufficient critical mass of IP and of competences to commercialise. Christophe claims that “working with a cluster is a day-to-day challenge: finding a compatible agenda, looking for common goals and practices, identifying shared objectives… But this is also the most promising path for development, as mutualisation, joined process and tool building can lead to highly augmented results. The first amazing consequence is to have close colleagues taking the time to deeply think about their common future.”
Another particularly interesting case is that of Tom Hockaday currently coaching Ascenion in Germany to set up an early stage fund. Sam White in charge of the activity with Tom says: “Germany invests an incredible amount of money in early-stage research and development and has a long and proud history of impressive scientific outputs, its research institutions and researchers among the best in the world. However, unlike other countries, particularly the UK and US, the flow of capital into early-stage investment funds over recent years has been very limited. This environment represents an enormous opportunity to create a new and unique investment vehicle, however challenges abound. The greatest of these is securing capital commitments and establishing a cohort of cornerstone investors. Critical to the success is (i) creating a concept that balances the interests of both strategically-focused and financially-focused investors, (ii), establishing a team and network of partners that can execute on the concept (iii) ensuring access to top-tier innovation and deal-flow.” Despite the challenges, Tom says that the “work with Ascenion for the Spinnovator Fund is progressing very well, and the Ascension team are very focused on presenting the opportunity and attracting investment.”
In Lisbon, at the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), a school of engineering part of the University of Lisbon, Andrea Basso is working together with the technology transfer team on Critical Areas of Focus 1 &2 (scouting and valuation of IP), he says: “Thanks to the energy and the commitment of the Technology transfer office and the senior management in IST we were able to make very good progress on both the scouting and opportunity assessment processes involving in the refinement phase also Venture Capitals, PhD students, professors and incubators in Lisbon”
Finally, PROGRESS-TT is currently organising a side-session at the forthcoming ASTP-Proton Annual Conference in Budapest to gather coaches and TTOs, and discuss lessons learnt and exchange on the final activities before completion of all interventions by the end of June 2017. Busy but extremely interesting times indeed!
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PROGRESS-TT is currently exploring offering to beneficiaries of our Capacity Building learning events to receive certification, at two levels. First, at an individual-level: granting delegates having attended events a professional recognition based on the certification of training materials used in the training of TT professionals. Second, at organization-level: certifying whole Technology Transfer Offices based on the degree of involvement of their members of staff in the various learning events of the PROGRESS-TT project.
The novelty is in this second approach to certification which is ambitious, innovative and very much aligned to PROGRESS-TT’s mission of supporting the skill development of teams rather than single individuals. Indeed, a certification at organization level could be very valuable for TTOs, as it would indicate a strategic approach to learning, with selected members of staff attending learning events that are specifically relevant to their activities.
The rationale behind the work towards the certification of both individuals and teams having learnt with PROGRESS-TT is rooted in the importance of peer recognition for career advancement. For professionals working in technology transfer, obtaining a professional certification can be extremely valuable to signal to employers, colleagues and third parties that a professional has reached relevant and demonstrable core competencies in the field. In a survey to TT professionals employed in European universities developed within the PROGRESS-TT project, the respondents explicitly recognized the importance of certification for their profession. To this end, TT professionals try to attend certified training courses that allow them to reach the certification. In fact, to the question asking to indicate whether the accreditation of courses was perceived as important (on a 1-5 scale, where 1=unimportant and 5=extremely important), 50% of the respondents answered assigning the highest values of 4 or 5 (total average value equal to 3.23), and 23% of them assigned the value 3.
PROGRESS-TT expects the process for certification of past and forthcoming events to take a few more weeks to be finalised. Beneficiaries of PROGRESS-TT events will be contacted in due course to inform you of the outcomes. And if your team has already attended a number of PROGRESS-TT events, then consider attending more to achieve certification when it is available.
If you have any questions reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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What will be discussed:
- How can TTOs support the creation of a critical mass of high quality Intellectual Property from the PRO?
What kind of solutions should be implemented by TTOs to effectively scout new ideas and technologies from the PRO?
What types of incentive systems are effective to engage research departments and faculties in technology transfer activities?
- Case studies from the best practice library on CAF 1
Entry level: Junior staff and/or 1-3 years of experience in TT
When: Friday, 23 June 2017
Venue: CTT – Cracow University of Technology, Cracow, Poland
Address: Warszawska 24, Building 10 – 36, 31 – 155 Cracow
Expert: Tom Flanagan, Director DIT Hothouse, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
Available seats: 30
*Your participation will only be confirmed upon receiving your travel arrangements and you are to cover your own expenses.
Read more: past training on 16 September 2016: “PROGRESS-TT second training with 100% satisfaction rate”
Read more: past training on 18 March 2016: “First PROGRESS-TT event in Prague rated 90% by attendees”
Join other 882 TTOs already mapped in the TTOBase
PROGRESS-TT to date has mapped 882 Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) in its TTOBase, which aims at helping TTOs in sourcing information and networking. The data on TTOs is stored and presented on an online platform developed by the Fraunhofer IMW, presenting the overall European TTO landscape including geographical location, contact information, insights into technological expertise, data on patents and customers, and on key individuals in the TTOs.
The TTOBase has also been used as part of PROGRESS-TT to assess the performance of TTOs and screen TTOs with medium to high potential for Capacity Building activities offered by the project. Finally the TTOBase also serves as a repository of the case studies identified by PROGRESS-TT. The cases illustrate a number of Best Practice in four Critical Areas of Focus (CAF):
- Scouting ideas/technologies from the Public Research Organizations and incentivizing researchers to disclose Intellectual Property (IP),
- Assessing IP potential, validating technologies and incentivizing for commercialization
- Accessing finance and interacting with financial stakeholders
- Securing TTO Staff skills and organizing the TTO for optimum growth.
For example, for CAF 1 the case of Uppsala University TTO can be browsed at https://ipib.ci.moez.fraunhofer.de/companies/uppsala-university-uu-innovation;
that of VU University Amsterdam TTO at https://ipib.ci.moez.fraunhofer.de/companies/innovation-exchange-Amsterdam.
For CAF2 the case of University of Basel, University of Bern, and University of Zurich can be found at https://ipib.ci.moez.fraunhofer.de/companies/unitectra
Polytechnic University of Valencia https://ipib.ci.moez.fraunhofer.de/companies/polytechnic-university-of-valencia-tto-facility-unknown.
Cases for Critical Areas of Focus 3 and 4 will be published on TTOBase in March 2017.
Is your TTO not in the TTOBase? Join the TTOBase by filling in this online form https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ttobase