Is there such a thing as Tech Trans? Or learning from Pasteur
The rationality of the BONITA Project
Research cooperation, as well as knowledge transfer between public research organisations and industry, is insufficiently developed within the European innovation system . In order to develop the Baltic Sea Region into a high-tech region the available scientific knowledge needs to be successfully transferred into practice.
The European innovation system?
What is the European innovation system?
Innovation takes place in different ways, depending on traditions, resources and economic structures.
A most interesting aspect of the BONITA project is the opportunity to compare these different ways in order to learn from each other and establish networks between different modes of innovation and structures to scaffold tech trans and innovation
Tech Trans is indeed on the agenda
It is part the modern world’s thrive to establish a more effective and efficient relation between research within the scientific system and the application of this research in enterprises.
It is an expression of the drive to increase utilization of universities and to mobilize research with the aim to make societies more competitive and innovative thus shortening the pipeline between research and commercialisation.
When we talk about specific technology transfer we should define what we talk about when we talk about technology.
To make this discussion short I suggest that we define technology as designs that are developed to satisfy human needs. This means that technology is not merely artefacts but also processes. But it also means that we are able to understand technology as something different than science, which is basically about understanding or interpreting the world
In a modern world of speed waiting for the dissemination of knowledge through the production of graduates is not seen as acceptable.
This model of vertical knowledge transfer is considered limited without taking full advantage of society’s investment in research. Therefore new models have been developed.- Such as Triple Helix
These structural couplings are materialized in initiatives such as laboratories, Incubators, Tech Trans set-ups and different liaison offices. The laboratory model is adopted from the US with initiatives such as the Media Lab at MIT and Rank Xerox Lab.
They share an archetypical story moving from great reciprocal expectation between business and research, where both parties involved are able to realize the great mutual benefits. disillusion arises
and at a given time (after 2-4 years) a peak of inflated expectations is reached. Business enterprises experience that researchers are in fact researchers and therefore more interested in peer-reviewed papers than in sustainable business solutions. The developed systems and artefacts are often raw prototypes which are valid for research, but seldom solid or workable enough for marketing .
End of the Story
Researchers realize that business partners are more interested in the market than in insight. And the funding earmarked for the initial phrase will disappear when governmental (or other) programmes move on to new policy issues.
The translation zone disappears or becomes part of the university routine or they become semi-autonomous set-ups spending their time on applying for new kinds of funding.
What are we talking about?
As a Process
This means that when we talk about Tech Trans as a process we do need to distinguish between different research practices and different partners.
Different epistmologies Bohr Transformation translation Pasteur Translation transformation Edison Transfer
Different ontologies Bohr Research partners Pasteur Collaborative Laboratories Edison Sales office
It Takes Place
we need to have a clear understanding of how Tech Trans takes place . Note the expression since Tech Trans both is temporal and spatial - takes place.
The obvious spatial component is the showrooms, and the temporal is the Tech Trans process. The actual artefacts being exhibited could then be seen as the reification of research, which might mediate the relationship between flow and structure.
STI ’Science-Technology-Innovation’, or vertical innovation.
DUI for ’Doing-Using-Interacting’. - or horizontal innovation.
Tech Trans as the Crossing Point
I would suggest that the development of Tech Trans should be done through combining the vertical STI process and structure with the DUI approach. This means that research-based innovation should be enabled and supported through the scaffolding of networks, reciprocal learning and collaboration.
Telling, Translating and Transforming
A basic factor in the development of such generic and at the same time specific models would be development of processes and structures where telling/selling, translating and transforming could take place. The showrooms could be the fix point for this: the structure which reifies these processes and the actual Tech Trans would then be the process.
The Usefulness of BONITA
The economic development would in more traditional economic approaches be seen as a function of labour and capital. This could be formulated as production (Q) is produced by two inputs capital (C) and labour (L):
Or modified as:
Q=f(C, L, K, TT)
The usefulness of the Bonita Projects should be seen as the function of combining Horizontal Innovation (H) with Vertical Innovation (V) and generating both academic output (AO) and economic output (EO), securing investment (I), sustainability (S) and ensuring societal change (SC).