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Toolbox award fo transfer projects final

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  • 1. FITT (Fostering Interregional Exchange in ICT Technology Transfer)
  • 2. Technology Transfer Award in a few words
    • Awards for researchers working on research projects with outstanding transfer potential
    • Created by the University Paris- Sud 11 (member of the Digiteo network)
    • Goals:
      • Demonstrate that there is no discrepancy between high-level research and technology transfer
      • promote technology transfer among the research community
    • More upstream than other foreign technology transfer awards : focuses only on technologies not yet transferred.
    Credit: Microsoft Office
  • 3. What kind of projects are expected?
    • Criteria for eligible projects are:
    • innovative technology potentially interesting to the socio economic world
    • technology close to transfer but not transferred yet
    • developed in a laboratory of the university
    • protection of Intellectual Property must have been initiated beforehand (although there is no need for patents to be filed or published)
    • winners or similar awards can not apply
    Credit: Microsoft Office
  • 4. Organisation of the award Follow-up of the winning projects Credit: Microsoft Office
  • 5.
    • 1) Preliminary application
    • electronic application file (download on the webpage of the technology transfer office)
    • only a few information requested :
        • name of the project leader
        • project’s name
        • short summary
    • 2) Final application
    • 2 months later.
    • More information requested :
    • General information on the project
      • title
      • name of the project leader and its employer
      • name of the laboratory involved
    • Summary
    • Contact information of the main author and other authors
    • Technical description of the project:
      • identification of the scientific field
      • summary of the prior art
      • presentation of the final goal and added-value of the project
    • Positioning of the project:
      • information on collaborations with industrial partners for the project if there are some
      • field(s) of application
      • current status of the project (testing, prototyping...)
      • transfer strategy foreseen
      • list of the contacts needed and actions considered to achieve this strategy
      • forecast for the maturation of the project (budget, resource, calendar)
      • information about competitors and market I
    • Intellectual property
      • list of publications and public presentations related to the project
      • list of patent registered (or trademark, software protection) related to the project
    Organisation of the award
  • 6.
    • 3) Selection
    • External jury (usually includes representatives of industries, incubators, national or regional agencies involved in the field of innovation)
    • Composition must be approved by the President of the university
    • Experts in accordance with scientific themes that arose in the pre-applications.
    • 4) Decision & ceremony
    • Each candidate is informed by mail about the results.
    • Publication of the results via several channels: information board, university’s website and press release.
    • Organisation of ceremony, during which the 3 laureates are awarded a check of 3000€. The prizes are financed by the university.
    • 5) Follow-up
    • After the ceremony, the TTO of the university, in partnership with the regional incubator, will advise the laureates and guide them throughout the transfer process.
    Organisation of the award Credit: Microsoft Office
  • 7. Organisation of the award
    • The following stakeholders are involved :
    • Applicants to the award : roughly between 15 to 20 projects per edition, so 15 to 20 project leaders who apply to the award
    • Jury : 5 to 6 persons (external)
    • Staff of the university:
      • staff of the TTO ( Service d’Activités Industrielles et Commerciales ) :
        • technology transfer officers: 1 person in the beginning, 3 persons in 2010. Supervisation of the award (organisation & ceremony), proposition of experts for the jury, follow-up of the winning projects
        • administrative staff : 1 or 2 persons (part-time)
      • top management : variable.
      • The scientific committee of the university was the entity that came with the idea of the award in the first place. The president of the university validates each year the composition of the jury.
        • communication service : 1 person (part-time) to provide press release, communication within university and towards institutional partners
  • 8. When?
    • Created in 2000 by the University of Paris Sud-11.
    • 9 editions of the award until now.
  • 9. Who?
    • A lot of people: researchers, teachers-researchers, engineers, technicians and students working in a lab of the university....
    • ...with a research project with strong technology transfer potential
    • Only one representative per project. If the project involves a team, a project leader must be identified.
    1 person + 1 project = 1 application
    • Who can apply to the award:
    Credit: Microsoft Office
  • 10. Where?
    • Location: since several conference/ lecture halls are available in the university, all 8 editions of the Technology Transfer Award have been organized indoors.
  • 11. Pros & Cons
    • Potential problems :
    • The number of applications must be sufficient to ensure a high quality selection.
    • Risk of conflicts of interests in the jury, composed of industrial experts. If a project may represent competition to a firm represented, the jury might penalize it.
    • Risk of conflicts of interest between the project (for which dissemination could prevent the protection of the IP) and the university, which would like to communicate on the winning projects.
    CONs PROs
    • Strength :
    • strong motivation for researchers to engage in technology transfer (financial reward and a well-recognized academic distinction)
    • Strong sign to both research community and external stakeholders that research isn’t contradictory with economical valorisation
    • Increases visibility on the activities of the university labs and the TTO (media coverage)
    • Innovation : the first award of this kind in France
  • 12. Why?
    • Why was the Valorization Award established?
      • In 2000, the TTO of the university Paris Sud 11 (i.e the before mentioned SAIC) was not yet created and the Scientific Council of the university was looking for a way to boost the valorization of research.
      • What was the context?
      • Wider context of the Law on Innovation & research (12/07/1999), which expressed the will of the government to promote the transfer of public research to industry and the creation of innovative companies.
        • Why is it still organised?
      • There is a proper TTO in the university since 2003, but the award was maintained because of the positive side effects.
  • 13. Why?
    • Impact?
      • Success rate :
        • Steady number of applications (15 to 20 per year).
        • 9 award winners out of 26 have created a start-up.
        • Other awards of this type have been launched since 2000, showing the added-value of the concept (“Innovation of the year” of Ecole Polytechnique/ CNRS, “Valorization award” of IN2P3/CNRS, “Innovation award’ of the city of Paris...).
        • Several winners of the University award have later won a national competition launched by the Ministry of Research to support the creation of companies of innovative technologies (“Concours national d’aide à la création d’entreprises de technologies innovantes”, since1999).
      • Why would we recommend such an approach: the reaction of the research community is very positive and the award is getting a wider recognition in academic circles. Technology transfer officers of the university now get calls from researchers, to have information about the award before the launch.
      • Recommendations : for maximum impact, the top management of the research organisation needs to be involved (attendance at ceremony, press release to partners...)
      • Impact on future performance : good tool to advertise technology transfer internally, among the others services and the community of researchers.
  • 14. Outcome
    • What happened after the implementation ?
    • Better than expected?
      • Enhanced detection: there were a few cases where researchers have proposed projects to the Valorization award, that the technology transfer officers were not acquainted with. The award is a way to complement the activity of the TTO, and check for any “missed” projects with technology transfer potential.
      • Good institutional media coverage : Because several labs of the university are co-managed by other research organisations, information related to the award was well relayed in the other research institutions (list of winners, timeline of the calendar of the competition).
    • Worse than expected?
      • Questions on eligibility : some interrogations arise with specific cases, which are more frequent than expected. One of the reason is the co-management of the labs, which generates a multitude of situation for the researcher and the laboratory involved in one application (case of the applicant is an employee of the university, working in a lab that is owned by another research organisation).
      • Another example was the application of an ex post-doc, while he was unemployed at the time and had no relation with his former lab. The winning projects are usually supported by the TTO (maturation phase, protection of the IP) and here, a follow-up was not possible. In the end, this application was not selected by the jury.
    Credit: Microsoft Office
  • 15. Outcome
    • Plans for the future?
    • Will the best practice be continued/changed/adapted?
    • When the Scientific Council of the university decided to create the award, there was a discussion about whether it should address innovative technologies not transferred yet or start-ups/patents.Finally, the Council chose the first option because they deemed it was not the role of the university to evaluate the success of a start-up and there would be higher number of potential candidates. The discussion reappeared in 2006/2007 but the Council came to the same conclusion.
    • Some changes have been introduced in the last 8 years :
      • 2 steps application process instead of 1 step : easier for the TTO to contact in advance the appropriate experts, according to the scientific themes of the applications.
      • Since 2008, possibility for 1 of the 3 winners each year to receive 40 000€ to support the maturation of the project (not automatic though, principle of “drawing right”)
      • Progressive shift in the composition of the jury : from industrial experts to representatives of “institutional “organisations (local incubator, national agency for innovation) to avoid conflict of interest.
      • Other changes may be introduced in the future, if the stakeholders feel there would be an improvement.
  • 16. Outcome
    • Plans for the future?
    • If so, in what way will it be continued/changed/adapted?
      • Rules about eligibility of the project leader:
      • The university is considering either to request that project leaders are employed by the university (instead of “working in a laboratory linked to the university” in the current regulation) or to co-finance the award with the research institutions that co-manage the laboratories (CNRS, INSERM...) to avoid problems related to the eligibility of the project leader.
      • Time interval between 2 editions of the award:
      • The university will probably extend the time interval between 2 editions of the Valorization award from 12 to 18 months. The idea is to ensure a high number of proposals for every edition of the award. Indeed, a lot of applications were submitted on the first editions of the award because the initial pool of eligible projects was large. Since the award is organised on a regular basis for several years, 18 months seems the appropriate amount of time for the “reconstitution” of the pool.
  • 17. Lessons Learned
    • Looking back now, what would you …
      • … do different? Based on the last edition, nothing really
      • … improve? See changes introduced (slide 15)
      • … recommend to others?
      • A lot of resources are required to carry out the contest and award ceremony (scientific & technical, administrative staff, communication, top management). It is crucial to ensure the involvement of all parties before starting the process.
      • Anticipate : launching an award takes time and can not be decided at the last minute. Practical organizational matters must be addressed early, while the decision process can be quick if there is a general agreement among the stakeholders. In 2000, the award ceremony was organised 4 to 5 months after the decision of the scientific council to create the award.
  • 18. Suggested Readings
    • Link to bibliography
    • G.D. Markman, P.T. Gianiodis, P. H. Phan, D.B. Balkin, Entrepreneurship from the Ivory Tower: Do Incentive Systems Matter? Journal of Technology Transfer, Vol.29, no 3-4, August 2004
    • Link to code book
    • Award; Motivation; Reward, Prize; Selection; Jury; Ceremony
    • Link to related websites
      • Technology Transfer Office of Paris-Sud University :
      • http://www.u-psud.fr/fr/l_universite/organisation_generale/services_communs/saic.html

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