By: Arun Pradhan, Senior VP
I was recently invited to participate on a panel at the Technology Transfer International Conference in Ankara, Turkey. The conference was co financed by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey to celebrate establishing four new technoparks and associated technology transfer office. The technoparks play an important role in the innovation ecosytem, providing technology transfer services, as well as training, consultancy and support of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the objective of increasing socio-economic development and competitiveness in the region.
The conference kicked off with talks from the Minister of Science, Industry & Technology and the Charge d’Affairs of the delegation to Turkey. Both of whom, talked about the importance of increased research funding, technology transfer, transitioning to a knowledge based economy and most importantly the impact associated with technology transfer. In later talks, as we hear from the various technoparks, it was clear that technology transfer means more than licensing. For the innovation ecosystem in Turkey, it encompasses new jobs, social welfare and increases competitive advantage.
The panel that I was on, discussed the efforts outside of Turkey and lessons learned. Specifically, using examples from Finland, Poland and Turkey the speakers discussed the elements that led to the successes in their respective ecosystems. My topic was a little more general in that I discussed what in my opinion are six significant developments and/or issues in the field of technology transfer, i.e. measuring impact versus revenue or numbers (patent applications, patents, agreements etc.); the rise of technology portals; express/easy licensing; proof of concept funds; university seed venture funds; and, translational research centers.
Overall, it was a great meeting and a great location in Ankara.