When people talk about Technology Transfer, they usually refer to the ability to transfer a product or technology from a university research laboratory to the market so that it can be used by anyone.
Internationally, the most common definition given to Technology Transfer is: “the process to assist the successful transformation of good research into good business, supporting researches and inventors to move a protected idea successfully to the market” (A.Alunni).
In order for this process to take place, it is necessary that the actors who hold the scientific know-how (researchers, universities, spin-offs, etc.) be supported by individuals who have the business skills and financial capacity to ensure that from the intuition of a group of researchers first a product and then a real company can be born.
It is precisely for this reason that, starting in 1980, various initiatives began to take hold to stimulate cooperation between the research and capital worlds, leading to the creation of true investment funds specializing in Technology Transfer.
Technology Transfer funds operate by borrowing some of the typical logic of Venture Capital funds (profit orientation and medium to long investment horizon), but they are also characterized by some differences:
Greater predisposition to risk-taking relative to the technology being invested in (investment even in the POC phase);
Greater focus on due diligence on intellectual property with respect to areas such as target market or business metrics;
Need to pay special attention to the team figures who hold the technical and scientific know-how both within the fund itself and within the companies being invested in.
In conclusion, Technology Transfer certainly represents an interesting challenge that can bring important results within the innovation ecosystem, but in order to seize this opportunity, it is essential that institutional actors create the optimal conditions to facilitate the meeting between the world of scientific research and the world of capital.
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The BizPlace team