The PROGRESS-TT coaching programme is running at full speed

The PROGRESS-TT coaching programme is running at full speed

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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Get professionally certified through PROGRESS-TT learning events

Get professionally certified through PROGRESS-TT learning events

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 info@progresstt.eu.

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Join the TTOBase

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

Mapping all TTOs in Europe

With the PROGRESS-TT “TTOBase” Fraunhofer IMW intends to map all Technology Transfer Offices in the world; 882 have been profiled to date. Lutz Maicher Head of Unit at Fraunhofer Center for International Management & Knowledge Economy (IMW) says: “We collected data from many sources and are presenting it back in an open access, user-friendly form for research purposes. The TTOBase aims at helping TTOs in sourcing information and networking. It has tremendous potential value in helping the TT community in Europe be more connected and informed of its own characteristics.”

The data on TTOs is stored and presented on a special purpose platform developed by the Fraunhofer IMW Competitive Intelligence team. The platform has been designed to suit the needs identified by PROGRESS-TT; it presents the overall TTO landscape including geographical location, contact information, insights into technological expertise, data on patents and customers, and on key individuals in the TTOs. In case a given TTO is in close collaboration with other institutes, TTOBase offers information on partner institutions as well. In this regards, the TTOBase serves as a great networking tool for all the TTOs in Europe.

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.

The TTOBase is still a work in progress and TTOs who are not yet on the database can request to be added to it. PROGRESS-TT will soon circulate a link to an online form to that effect so that information from each TTO can be easily exported to the TTOBase. In the meantime should you have any questions regarding the TTOBase do email us at info@progresstt.eu.

Congratulations to 15 selected TTOs in receiving the Capacity Building coaching and mentoring programme

The second PROGRESS-TT call for Capacity Building of High Potential Technology Transfer Offices closed on 31 October 2016. Participation was high with 38 TTOs applying for the 15 spots on the programme. The review process of the received applications involving a panel of experts was completed in early December 2016 and selected TTOs have since been paired with a recognised technology transfer expert with at least seven years’ experience in the field and drawn from across Europe to help each TTO enhance and implement its vision.

On 16 January 2017, the first meeting will be held in Milan, Italy, where these 15 new coaching/mentoring partnerships will embark on a 12-day pilot support Capacity Building Programme. The programme, which is delivered free-of-charge to the TTOs, includes face-to-face site visits and online sessions. For a maximum period of six months, the programme will aim at providing selected TTOs with focus and time to try different approaches and techniques or adopt new measures to help achieve their technology transfer goals. The list of successful TTOs for the second PROGRESS-TT call will be published in the next issue of our newsletter as we are finalising the formalities to confirm the collaboration.

Since June 2016, a first cohort of 15 European TTOs is benefiting from the PROGRESS-TT support programme and are receiving coaching and mentoring. Participants have been enthusiastic about their experience thus far: James O’Sullivan, TTO manager in Ireland, says that “to date the TTO in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has found the PROGRESS-TT programme very useful in providing ‘time out’ to allow strategic dialogue and thinking with an external mentor.  This strategic dialogue has resulted in a structured plan which has a series of key activities for the TTO to undertake.  The first of these activities has been to engage with a research performing organisation with a very high level of success in developing spin out companies through an entrepreneurship programme.  As a result of this engagement WIT is now exploring the opportunities available to the Institute to further develop our existing services. We are very excited!”

We congratulate the new group of 15 TTOs on getting through and look forward to a fruitful collaboration!

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Nine successful events have been delivered in 2016

Nine successful events have been delivered in 2016

As of March 2016 until September 2017, PROGRESS-TT is to deliver a total of 16 live events, which are the core activities of the Capacity Building programme, with no registration fee and open to European Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs). Led by ASTP-Proton, the project has delivered 9 events (3 training, 2 webinars, 2 workshops and 2 boot camps) throughout 2016 and 7 more events are scheduled in 2017.

The previously held 9 events were attended by 187 participants from 85 institutions in 24 European countries, of which the majority of the attendees (75%) are from TTOs in the East and South of Europe. The experience level of the attendees also vary across the nine events with more than half of the attendees are Senior staff and Heads of the TTOs and slightly less than half of the attendees have more than 6 years of experience in Technology Transfer.

Attendees breakdown - per country

With an average of 86% of the attendees rating the events with very good and excellent, the high level of interaction, networking and the use of the case studies are the most appreciated by all attendees. When asked what they find most valuable about the event, Levin Pal of Josef Stefan Institute in Slovenia answered, “interaction with other TTO people, loss of fear to be unsuccessful”, who attended three different types of events.