Technology transfer development — 2015

Technology transfer development — 2015

RVC supports the development of innovation ecosystems in universities by the creation of technology transfer centers. The following universities have already started working in this direction: SGAU named after Korolev, NNGU named after Lobachevskiy, Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University of Peter the Great, NITU MIS&S and Saint-Petersburg ITMO University. The introduction of the new technology transfer model will enhance the commercialization of university developments and the proportion of non-budgetary sources in financing educational institutions.

Technology transfer centers are designed to solve the key problem of Russian universities - as of today, less than 5% of developments by their researchers reach the stage of implementation in the industry, while the educational institutions are more than 90% state-funded.

The reason for this situation is the lack of efficient communication and collaboration between universities, industry, and venture capital investors. In addition, the Russian universities and research centers have no continuous idea-assets-implementation chain.

'Unlike their foreign colleagues, employees of Russian universities and research centers are focused on scientific publications, presentations at conferences, and do not take into account the real needs of the industry. In their turn, companies are not receptive to innovation, and venture capital investors are too careful about start-ups based in universities,' Igor Rozhdestvensky, Director of the St. Petersburg "Ingria" business incubator, said. 

Meanwhile, according to the joint research conducted in September-November 2014, by RVC and "Ingria", in countries with maximal share of expenses for Research & Development in proportion to GDP, more funds are obtained from the industry and not from the state. Thus, extension of interaction with the business community and commercialization of innovation is one of the key tasks for development of the innovation ecosystem at universities.

As a result of this research, RVC and "Ingria" designed a model that consists of a standard organizational structure of the technology transfer center and job descriptions, recommendations on the organization of business processes, regulatory framework, and template documents, educational programs and materials for staff training and skills development in universities.

Technology transfer centers will be responsible for expanding the portfolio of orders from private companies for research and development activities, attracting investment in university start-ups, registering intellectual property rights, and the sale of licenses and patents to industry enterprises.

The main task for the centers will be to make the universities' innovative proposals address the needs of industry and venture capital investors. It's expected that the personnel of each center will consist of 6 to 20 people, teams will be based on the specialists working with industrial enterprises, venture capital investors, academic teaching staff, students, research employees and legal consultants responsible for transactions and intellectual property protection.

'Establishment of technology transfer centers plays an important role for universities seeking to get to the top of world rankings, as co-financing from extra-budgetary resources brought by universities is one of the prerequisites for state support under the 5-100 project, and one of the criteria in assessment by international university rankings,' Yevgeny Kuznetsov, Deputy CEO and Director of RVC's Project Office, said.

The research of the shortcomings of the existing innovation ecosystem in Russian universities and the proposed business model of effective technology transfer were presented at the first practical forum for technology transfer, conducted in 2015, by RVC, in conjunction with the business incubator "Ingria," NUST MIS&S, and the Project Office of the Program for Improvement of International Competitiveness of Russian Universities "5-100." The model was discussed by the universities, industrial enterprises and venture capital investors, we expect to receive recommendations from the Ministry of Education and Science, to implement them in all the universities of Russia. Some universities have already signed agreements on the implementation of the model in the next two years. They are: Novgorod State University, Togliatti State University, St. Petersburg State Mining University, Samara State University, Perm State University, Tver State University, SPSUACE, NKFU, Tomsk Polytechnic University, and others.

The full version of the research on "Development of Innovative Ecosystems at Universities and Research Centers" can be found.