__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

GUIDELINES FOR NANOTECHNOLOGY AND MICROTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY CENTRES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF MARKET-ORIENTED STRATEGIES

GUIDELINES FOR NANOTECHNOLOGY AND MICROTECHNOLOGY

RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY CENTRES

FOR IMPROVEMENT OF MARKET-ORIENTED

STRATEGIES

European Union European Regional Development Fund CO-FINANCED BY THE EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND AND MADE POSSIBLE BY THE INTERREG IVC PROGRAMME

Idepa directrices cubierta plata.indd 1

08/06/11 01:48


Guidelines for

NANOTECHNOLOGY AND MICROTECHNOLOGY

RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY CENTRES

FOR IMPROVEMENT

OF MARKET-ORIENTED

STRATEGIES

European Union European Regional Development Fund CO-FINANCED BY THE EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND AND MADE POSSIBLE BY THE INTERREG IVC PROGRAMME


Index 8 Preparing centres for a market-oriented strategy 12 Particularities of nano and microtechnology 14 A possible model of RTC management

16 Core & key functions 17 Strategy, mission, vision and competences 17 Defining your strategic position and key competences 18 Plural criteria through external advice 20 Technology and market vigilance 20 Portfolio management: short-term vs long-term research 22 Valorisation or exploitation function 24 Exploitation towards existing industries (SME or large) 24 Patenting 25 Patents licensing 30 Exploitation towards newly created ventures 31 Defining success in incubation 36 People (or human resources) management function 37 Multidisciplinary teams 40 Widening the knowledge of individual researchers 40 Researcher leaving the centre: knowledge transfer at its best? 41 Attracting talent

42 Interacting in your ecosystem 43 The triple, quadruple or quintuple helix 45 Relations with other centres (including universities) 45 Sharing infrastructures and resources 45 Local, national, European or global networking


47 Pooling funds, and IPR 47 Flows of students and researchers between centres 48 Competition issues 49 Relations with industry 49 Understanding nano/microtech value chains 50 Increase return/yield of centres’ assets 52 Collaborative Research & Development with companies 54 Knowledge and technology transfer tools 54 Marketing activities 54 Industry peer reviews 54 Technology implementation analysis 56 Relations with citizens/general public 59 Relations with governments 60 Government tendencies 62 Relations with finance actors: the possible fifth element

64 Performance indicators and R&D metrics 65 Citation metrics 66 What to measure and how 68 References 69 Annex. Summaries of visits to nano4m RTC 69 Centro de Investigación en Nanomateriales y Nanotecnología (CINN) 73 Institut Jean Lamour (IJL) 77 Fundación Prodintec 79 Center for Nanotechnology (CeNTech) 82 MST.factory dortmund / TechnologieZentrumDortmund (TZDO) 85 Colorobbia / Agenzia per lo Sviluppo Empolese Valdelsa (ASEV) 86 Georgia Tech-Lorraine (GTL) 89 Project abstract


The draft of this document was initiated in March 2010. After a preliminary version, presented in September 2010 by IDEPA to the Steering Committee, Bax and Willems Consulting Venturing was taken on to complete it in December 2010. To follow up B&W contributions a working group was arranged with some members from nano4m Research and Technology Centres and IDEPA as leader of the project: Georgia Tech-Lorraine (GTL) Dr. Abdallah Ougazzaden Dr. Paul Voss Institut Jean Lamour (IJL) Dr. Thierry Belmonte Dr. Philippe Lambert Fundación Prodintec Pablo Coca Colorobbia / Agenzia per lo Sviluppo Empolese Valdelsa (ASEV) Dr. Andrea Caneschi Dr. Giovanni Baldi Center for Nanotechnolog (CeNTech) Dr. Holger Winter Centro de Investigación en Nanomateriales y Nanotecnología (CINN) Dr. Ramón Torrecillas MST.factory dortmund Dr. Thomas Richter Dr. Heinz Brückelmann Economic Development Agency of the Principality of Asturias (IDEPA) Ana E. Fernández Monzón Jasón Martínez Paz Palacio The final version was sent to print in June 2011.


8

PREPARING CENTRES FOR A MARKET ORIENTED STRATEGY


Preparing centres for a market oriented strategy

Over the past 30 years Europe has continued to generate high quality knowledge in many advanced research and technological fields. Measured by per-capita publication criteria, Europe is an academic powerhouse on a par with the USA. However, in spite of high quality research being reflected in numerous publications in high impact scientific journals, for various reasons most of these results have not led to widespread European knowledge being applied in European industry. Uptake of scientific and technological knowledge in industry is by now generally acknowledged to be a key objective of scientific and technological research centres, regardless of their financing structure (whether private, public or mixed). This uptake can take place in a variety of receiving entities that we can together denominate as the market of a Research and Technology Centre (RTC). One can divide the market of such RTC to a large extent into the following categories of stakeholders: • Large industry • Small and medium sized companies (SME) • Public or semi-public organizations that could benefit from R&T knowledge application With the RTC market defined as above, one can then define a market oriented strategy of an RTC as a strategy that is principally oriented at fulfilling the needs of these market segments. Each RTC might choose to serve a specific subset or mix of these three main market segments, and may also choose to serve these segments mainly regionally, nationally, on a European level or globally. An RTC could vary the geographical range of its ambitions also according to the relative strength it has in a certain scientific or technological field. This guide aims to provide introductory notions on most aspects that emerge when implementing a market-oriented strategy in an RTC. It does not cover the institutional structures that can be adopted in order to maximize such orientation, or to maximize the degrees of entrepreneurial freedom that can be offered to the persons working in such centres. It also does not delve into detailed approaches or toolboxes that can be readily

9


10

applied to specific processes that take place in a market-oriented RTC. The main purpose of this guide is to inspire RTC leadership into adopting best practices that have been proven to work in peer RTC that they have become familiar with in the nano4m project. As a secondary purpose, these best practices and the context given in the guide can also serve a wider audience of RTC managers and leaders, that have an interest in practices that have proven their worth. In most areas, the guide provides suggestions for further reading that allows for deepening of understanding, and concretizing the concepts presented into a level that can be implemented in a specific RTC. This document has been developed by (and for) participating Research and Technology Centres (RTC) that are all specifically working in the nanotechnology and microtechnology fields. For this reason, the guide specifically covers the peculiarities of these scientific/technological fields. Many trends are forcing research institutions to play a more active role in their relationship with industry in order to maximize the use of research results. Increasing numbers of companies are developing open innovation approaches to R&D, combining in-house and external resources, and aiming to maximize economic value for their intellectual property, even when this is not directly linked to their core business. In particular, they have begun to treat public research as a strategic resource. Some examples have emerged of very successful and innovative companies that do little or no internal RTD; they have become experts in innovating their products, services and production processes by applying science and technology developed by others. Market orientation is not something that can be restricted to the goalfinding phase of RTC management; it affects all stages of strategic management: exploring internal competences and resources, exploring the surrounding ecosystems, defining alternative strategies, choosing the most fitting strategy, concretizing such a strategy into tangible objectives, execution of the strategy and measuring and scoring the results by comparing them to those planned.


Preparing centres for a market oriented strategy

It likewise affects most functions inside an RTC such as identifying scientific and technology domains that are interesting for the organization, organizing day to day work, financing the activity, communication, human resources management, etc. Measures to speed up the application of knowledge in the market or society can be implemented in all of them. RTC inside the nano4m project have identified some specific action lines: • Identifying markets or specialization domains using objective and qualitative criteria where the organization will have a specific market positioning strategy, defining the corresponding producttechnology-market lines • As positioning could be different in different markets, it will be necessary to develop a different deployment of competences by defining the necessary internal strategic projects aiming to develop such competences in the organization • Establish solid communication lines with other scientific and technological disciplines, looking for excellence through the multidisciplinarity and internationalization of their activities • Establishing an exploitation strategy for the organization’s knowledge based on licensing and other possibilities such as spin-off and spin out of new companies This document has been drafted by nano4m partners with the support of the preparatory work (maps, RTC profiles and Technology Transfer models). It provides a framework of orientative guidelines for partner centres. A number of issues and practices have been suggested and it is up to each Centre to implement those it considers most suitable. We realize that each Centre should find its own solutions adapted to its environment and particular circumstances. Furthermore within the nano4m project there are Scientific and Technological centres, and recommendations do not always apply for both.

11


12

Particularities of nano and microtechnology Nano and microtechnology have certain peculiarities that make them different from other fields, and which have their influence on the market orientation of the RTC. The scheme below shows the main specificities of these disciplines.

Multidisciplinary

Some safety & health concerns

Long time-to-market

NANO At least 2 steps from final market value

Multi-application + markets

Not of interest down stream

Starting from the top of the scheme, the multi-disciplinarity of these sciences results in the need to have a staff that covers various disciplines from science and engineering faculties; at least physics and chemistry, but quite possibly also biology, electronics and in some cases pharmacology. The fact that especially nanosize particles and fibres can in some cases pass through cell walls and are not always recognized by the human defence systems requires RTC working with such materials to take especially good care to protect their workers and to think about the risks of applying their particles or fibres in products and processes to which humans are exposed. It also requires RTC to reflect carefully about their communications towards society, making sure that people are not unnecessarily scared concerning nanoparticles, while on the other hand also ensuring that the real risks that have been identified are not ‘swept under the carpet’. Another issue to keep in mind when working in nano/micro is the fact that most of the results of this type of research are not by themselves exploitable


Preparing centres for a market oriented strategy

products or technologies. In most cases, in order to extract the value locked up in a certain piece of nano/micro research outcome, one needs to embed the research result in another technology and then this technology needs to be in turn embedded into a final product or process. This presents possibly the need to establish good collaborations at an early stage with allies that cover these subsequent steps to valorisation of the nano/micro research result. One could also consider developing in-house capabilities on these subsequent steps, but that choice is subject to the risk that not-that-unique intellectual property in nano/micro leads to follow-up investments to incorporate this IP in an intermediate product that can finally be incorporated in another product. One should always consider that a failure to find partners that are willing to work with your nano/micro knowledge might simply indicate that alternatives are available that can be made to work with lower risk. From that point of view, even when one does not need to establish alliances to develop applications, it might be interesting to at least have dialogue with such allies and listen carefully to their arguments for either wanting to collaborate with you, or why they feel they can pass up on this opportunity. Basically, the nano/micro research centre that wants to orient itself towards the market needs to accept the fact that nano and micro are really of no interest by themselves to the downstream actors with whom you would normally need to partner to get your RTD results applied in products, processes or services. They could not care less if something is nano or not! If anything, the nano-label means ‘risk’ to them, and will lower the attractiveness of your proposition rather than increasing it. As an example, one can refer to the nano-specific investment funds that operated in the early 2000s in the US. Since 2006, none of them refers to itself anymore as a nanotech fund. They have all embraced other concepts that are much more rooted in deep market demands rather than science, such as ‘cleantech’ or ‘renewables’. Nanotech and microtech tend to be also multi-market and multi-application technologies. While this is in general a good thing, allowing technologies to seek alternatives if one specific application for some reason does not work out is also a pitfall. Multi-application developments and RTD seeking multi-applications in various sectors often fail to reach full success in any

13


14

of their potential applications, precisely because of the temptation always to consider other applications also. One should carefully seek balance between the avoidance of a single-application strategy for a specific technology on the one hand, and the lack of focus often brought on by a multi-application approach. Most experienced investors tend to favour projects in which one application is clearly dominant and in priority, combined with less than 5 alternative second-priority applications that could be turned into first priority if the original spearhead application were to fail. Finally, and again mostly applicable to nano, the RTC needs to accept that the time-to-market of most nanotechnologies is generally very long. This is often due to the need to incorporate the nanotech into intermediates that need to be incorporated into final products, and also the frequent need to upscale production step-by-step, and to go through certification of safety of materials and other regulative procedures. A possible model of RTC management For the purpose of this guide, the functioning of an RTC is perceived according to the model depicted below. It does not cover all aspects of RTC management, but does show the most important ones. It is firmly based on the belief that an RTC needs very much to be part of an ecosystem, which is why the model highlights strongly the need to liaise with several categories of stakeholders. Inside the RTC, it distinguishes between the core functions of establishing and maintaining a mission, vision and explicitly defined set of core competences in the centre, and the key functionalities that can


Preparing centres for a market oriented strategy

15

be envisioned around that strategic core, and which make it possible to implement the targets set inside the core: human resource management, lab infrastructure, finance, valorisation and projects. As we have established previously, the true market orientation of an RTC transpires into almost every function of the RTC distinguished in this model. For the sake of focus we have limited this guide to deepen its coverage only on three main functions that are perhaps most affected: • Valorisation and exploitation • Human resources • Interaction (or liaison) with the ecosystem In the subsequent chapters, each of these areas is detailed.

Good practice from nano4m partners Prodintec: Systematic management is one of the strengths of Prodintec. As a technology centre that works with a customer base exceeding 400, it is essential to have a computerized system to organize the extensive portfolio of projects and technology services that are performed simultaneously. Correct recording of all stages in these projects and services is also essential (documentation, compliance with objectives, costs, incomes, workteam) in order to have a comprehensive knowledge base that can be used in future work. Finally, the availability of scoreboards and reports to visualize metrics and make decisions is another key aspect. In line with this, one of the first internal projects in Prodintec was the development of a software tool that would cover all the above elements (organization of projects and services, recording of information and scoreboard for decisionmaking). In order to develop this tool, Prodintec partnered with a company that specializes in development of ICT tools and business consulting, Futuver Consulting. The result of the project was Idinet (www.idinet.es), a tool with which Prodintec manages its business but a product that is marketed jointly with Futuver.

Further reading J. G. Wissema: "Towards a Third Generation University: Managing the university in transition" (2009).


16

CORE & KEY FUNCTIONS


Core & key functions

17

Strategy, mission, vision and competences Strategic intent is an essential item to have in any organization. Even though RTC can have quite de-centralized organisational hierarchies in which department leaders can to a large extent define their own R&D directions, this does not mean that the centre as a whole can survive in the long term without a specific strategy. As in any other organisation, strategy is formulated on the basis of internal and external factors and ambitions, and needs periodic review in order to ensure its continued alignment both with the present internal situation and that of the outside world (of the eco-system in which the RTC operates). Defining your strategic position and key competences Market-orientation begins with knowing what your market is, which entities are part of it, how your market functions and especially what their needs are. Obvious as this may sound, the exercise of defining their market is often only done implicitly by RTC. In order to be able to have a sensible debate about the markets targeted by the RTC, it is also crucial that the RTC has a clear, realistic and externally confirmed perception of its competences, its assets, its ideas and its ambitions. Each of these should be defined and valued by means of comparison with others. One approach is to state for every identified competence in the RTC whether it is competitive regionally, nationally, European-wide or even globally. Another is to ask present (and future) clients how they perceive the identified competences when comparing them to alternatives they perceive. The key scientific and technological (S&T) directions of the RTC should be those where clear industry potential (or client interest) is combined with strong or high potential competences. Competences must be nourished, by making explicit choices to do projects that make active use of them, and investing both in education of people and in acquisition or access to R&T infrastructure.

Further reading W. B. Rouse, K. R. Boff: "Strategies for Value: Quality, Productivity, and Innovation" in R&D/Technology Organizations (2000).


18

Plural criteria through external advice Apart from a management committee (made up of different representatives from society and devoted to monitoring the centre’s commitment to the economic environment), many RTC have scientific advisory committees, compulsory bodies in some cases. These scientific committees perform the function of defining the strategic research lines of the RTC applying for inventions more than for innovation and many of them are attended by prominent researchers at the international level. Alternatively the director of a centre can involve international key opinion leaders from different branches of industry, society or stakeholders as external advisers to assess the scientific and technical activities and to suggest new approaches or to lead singular applications.

Prodintec


Core & key functions

Good practice from nano4m partners Prodintec has developed its own methodology for technology watching called Centinela. Thus the procedure for applying this methodology implies the identification of key technologies to be under surveillance, the assignment of one person responsible for each key technology, information sources and frequency for watching and in-depth analysis by the person responsible and distribution of valuable information to other experts and directors inside Prodintec for selection of ideas and opportunities. One of the key technologies for Prodintec is micromilling. The person responsible for watching this technology periodically reviews different information sources (scientific papers, professional publications, patents, specialized websites). This surveillance is supported using tools such as web trackers and RSS managers as well as specialized databases for patents and papers. After this the person responsible selects and records the most relevant information in Prodintec’s ERP/ intranet. Thus information is distributed to experts and directors in Prodintec, and finally ideas are selected before launching projects. Centinela methodology has been developed following the guidelines set in the Spanish Standard UNE166006:2006 EX (R&D&i management: Technological Watch System). It gathers requirements for performing technology watching in organizations. At European level, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has created a new Technical Committee in this field. It is the Technical Committee CEN/TC 389 Innovation Management that is developing future European standards on innovation management. Spanish standard UNE166006:2006 EX has been taken as reference in one line of working which is focused on Technology Watching. CINN: Baseline Configuration Data Files (BCDF) exercises is a methodology that implies the analysis of the entire value chain in the development of nanotechbased products and the active participation of all actors involved in such a value chain. Keeping in mind the technical requirements, risks, resources needed etc. in each stage of the research to market process the success of such a process is more likely to be achieved. The development of BCDF by the CSIC within the European research project IP Nanoker is partly based on the Configuration Management (CM) defined as the unique identification, controlled storage, change control, and status reporting of selected intermediate work products, product components, and products during the life of a system, originally related to software developments.

19


20

Technology and market vigilance For a research centre to operate proactively in the market, technology and market watching should be a key support tool for the innovation process. This tool enables the early identification of trends, technologies and opportunities, which can later be converted into projects. The role of a market and technology scouting function in an RTC is to analyse the relevant market and research fields and search for complementary or competitive technologies, potential applications of its research, as well as potential clients and partnerships. All the obtained insights can provide valuable decision support for the centre’s board and can be shared to the RTC personnel for information or stimulation of new ideas. Apart from assigning a specific position to this function, it is recommended to instil a market-oriented culture to all researchers in the centre. Science and technology people have to keep an open mind and look outside their laboratory. Technology and market vigilance can be done not only through desk research, scientific magazines and publication scanning and participation in conferences, but also through active involvement and interaction with the local or regional industry and community (ecosystem). Translating customer demands and understanding their potential future needs can provide invaluable strategic insights to the management of the research centre, allowing for a more successful aligning of the long-term research projects to serve these needs. Portfolio management: short-term vs long-term research When a research centre has defined its strategic position and target market, it then should align its research portfolio to serve this strategy. This is often difficult. In a corporate R&D centre, the management can dictate the strategy and allocate resources accordingly. This is not the case for independent or public RTC, where each professor or department leader might have their own sources of funding and thus will have at least some autonomy in the selection of projects, subjects and personnel.


Core & key functions

In such cases, the research and technology centre can influence the focus of its research portfolio by careful coordination (rather than hierarchical definition) and of course also by careful selection and training of the departmental management that are supposed to implement the chosen RTC strategy. Most RTC are not commercial enterprises and should not be managed like companies; the higher degree of personal freedom to choose scientific challenges also in the long term allows the RTC to explore new areas, to try out new things and sometimes to fail when exploring high-risk research paths. In general, studies have shown that the more innovative RTC are not those that have the highest degrees of private sector financing; the more innovative RTC are those where researchers have at least some freedom to try out new things. Of course, innovativeness is a wide concept and an RTC should carefully consider what degrees of novelty it wants to offer its clients and stakeholders. Another issue when striving for a market-oriented strategy is the dilemma of investing in long-term research lines or focusing on short-term projects to satisfy immediate customer demands. Clearly, both strategies have their benefits and disadvantages. On the one hand, developing market-ready innovations will bring low-risk short-term revenue. On the other hand, investing in long-term research projects can create a necessary sustainable competitive advantage through potential scientific and technological breakthroughs. In most cases both short-term and long-term activities can be combined within one organisation, although it is not easy; the project timeframes and the required skills of the people are different in each activity and often contradictory. The perfect mix does not exist; every RTC has to choose its own balance of long/short term projects according to its strategy, resources, market and particularities.

21


22

Valorisation or exploitation function Valorisation is the function that strives to extract monetary value out of the knowledge generated inside the RTC. In the nanotech and microtech worlds this often involves a combination of protected IP (by patents) with intrinsic knowledge often associated to detailed process conditions, experience in process management and control, and other hard-to-patent but also hard-to-copy knowledge that makes a patent actually work in the real world. Centres should develop an IP policy and set principles which the organisation should implement in order to effectively manage the intellectual property resulting from their activities in the field of research and development. The decision of how and particularly when to protect a piece of knowledge is of special relevance in nano/microtechnology research due to the specific barriers that have to be frequently overcome before entering the market (i.e. industrial upscaling involving high investments, health, safety and environmental considerations...) and the consequently increased time to market in comparison with other products. It is important to realize that the protection of knowledge in the form of patents at an early stage of the research to market process can prevent the successful exploitation of the knowledge at a later stage. After all, a patent can only be maintained for 20 years. Likewise, a national patent can only be expanded to a more meaningful geographical coverage within 12 months after the patent has been granted locally. It is important in the nanotechnology and microtechnology domain to separate science from the more realistic engineering expectations, in order to decide what R&D results should be better protected by IP rights and when. The function of exploitation of RTD results or valorisation of IPR is normally established as a means to achieve two main results: financial income for the RTC and societal impact of its knowledge into real-life products, processes and services. One could argue that in an ideal world, the function


Core & key functions

of exploitation or valorisation is addressed even prior to setting research priorities, before R&D projects are set up and executed, and before partners are selected for collaborations. In the real world, this is not always the case; projects get started without the full pathway to exploitation in society being defined, and results are obtained which were perhaps not foreseen in the exploitation plans made at the beginning. Still, it is important to understand that most of the work in this exploitation/valorisation department should ideally be directed at ‘getting it right the first time’, even before R&D projects start and years before patents can be obtained. If seen under this light, the exploitation function can be a “window to the market” and also the main dialogue channel with industry. Whenever the exploitation is planned and implemented, one can also distinguish between a limited number of exploitation pathways open to the RTC. These are basically: • Exploitation by partnering with existing companies or other users of your IPR • Exploitation by newly set up ventures • Exploitation by full dissemination and publication The latter route one could argue is not strictly speaking exploitation, as no income is generated for the RTC and also an explicit pathway to make practical use of the knowledge created by the RTC is lacking. Dissemination of R&D results can be carried out either by traditional means such as papers, conferences or congresses, or through other new mechanisms developed under the focus of web 2.0 and social networks. In any case, in nanotechnology and microtechnology based R&D projects a suitable strategy for dissemination of results is essential as too early or over-dissemination has been identified as a barrier to commercialization. But it is the aim of this paper to deal neither with the dissemination process nor with the governing rules of the ownership of publicly funded R&D results (IP policies) as most institutions, or even European countries, have stipulated their own rules. The first two are therefore the ones we will explore in slightly more detail below.

23


24

Exploitation towards existing industries (SME or large) Patenting When knowledge is to be exploited through existing industries, then this requires some degree of sharing of the knowledge with the receiving company (or companies). To allow for sharing while still maintaining exclusive ownership, normally patenting is used as a protective measure. Having a patent makes it easier to discuss your knowledge without the concern that the counterpart might just use the knowledge without paying for it. Patenting is also a form of publication; a few years after the patent has been applied for, the basic principle of the invention is disclosed in the patent files. One underlying issue is that scientists are often unfamiliar with the basic procedure of patenting and might be afraid of filing a patent application or that a patent application might reduce their freedom to publish. It is recommended for a research centre to build up an efficient procedure and training not only for the invention evaluation (patent search to determine the novelty and market analysis) but also for the actual filing process. An efficient information flow thereby connecting the scientist with professional patent lawyers should be established and the centre management needs to function as coordinator. In order to keep the patent filing at reasonable costs the scientists would have to support the preparation of the application. This process needs to be efficient enough to allow filing of a patent application (provisional) even within one or two days. In Europe, patents are quite expensive, and many research centres therefore have adopted a two-step approach: patenting on a national, low cost level initially, and then using the time allowed for a decision on patent expansion (normally some 12 months) to negotiate co-financing of the patent expansion costs with either a major industry or with investor(s) willing to back a spin-off company. The problem with this approach is often the time pressure; many processes of identification of potentially interested parties, contacting, dialogue and negotiations take longer than 18 months, and many a valuable IPR has been made useless by applying for a national patent and thus automatically authorizing all the rest of the world to use the patented knowledge freely.


Core & key functions

Patents licensing For a research centre it is sensible and valuable to have the exclusive exploitation rights for their key technologies: either the external partner should not be involved in key developments or the external scientists should assign all the commercialization rights to the research centres. The scientists involved would participate financially in a successful commercialization. For a research centre a joint collaboration with industry to develop new technologies can be very attractive as the industry is going to support the research, but it has the drawback that the industry may ask for the exclusive commercialization rights. For the research centres it is advisable to limit these rights only to the particular project (defined work plan) and to restrict the time frame. One way to commercialize a technology is to license out a patent to an industrial organization. Before talking to industry the research centre should always file the patent application (even if it is only provisional) to be on the safe side. A company that is listed or has to be listed as co-applicant of the patent application does not need a licence nor does it need to pay a licence fee to commercialize the technology later on. To set up a successful licence agreement involves several steps. In a first meeting only information that is already public or well-protected should be presented. Industry does not like to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for an initial meeting. Later on before starting to discuss detailed and confidential information an NDA should be signed; before sending material to the industrial organization a material transfer agreement should be prepared, too. In the final licence agreement basically all issues can be addressed, negotiated and finally fixed in the contract. For the research centre the following topics should be covered: • • • •

Type of licence (exclusive, non exclusive) Area and territory of application Compensation (down payment and running royalties) Statement that the research centre guarantees neither the patentability nor the technical feasibility of this patent application

25


26

Even if a research centre grants an exclusive licence for a particular technology the scientists might still use this technology for their sole research activities.

Further reading Byrne, Noel & McBratney, Amanda: "Licensing technology: negotiating and drafting technology transfer agreements", 3.rd edition (2005).

Georgia Tech-Lorraine

Perhaps especially in the nanotech arena, many inventions have been patented without having shown a clear unique advantage of the invention compared to alternative solutions. As a result, a lot of money has been wasted on doubtful patents. This, combined with the fact that patents once granted still do not guarantee that others do not infringe on your patent, make it especially important for nanotech research centres also to consider strongly alternative ways to create protected knowledge, and perhaps to consider patenting only very innovative and high-added-value inventions up front, making other patent decisions dependent on an expressed interest up front by at least one industrial partner or investor.


Core & key functions

Good practice from nano4m partners Institut Jean Lamour: In 2000, Patrick Alnot, professor at University Henri Poincaré of Nancy, created a Technological Research Team (TRT) dedicated to the study of metallic nanostructures, in close association with the nanomagnetism and spintronics team in the Laboratory of Materials Physics of the University, headed by Pr. Alain Schuhl and Dr. Michel Hehn. Entitled “Design Centre of magnetic and acoustic microsensors and Microsystems”, the TRT has been supported since its creation by the Thales and SNR BEARINGS companies and also by the Regional Council of Lorraine. Concretely, a first sensor prototype was made in 2008, just eight years after the first contacts between SNR and the University of Nancy. This prototype showed a power consumption 1000 times less than the sensor used at the time with a working distance 3 times larger allowing new applications. Marketing began in late 2009, for industrial applications in small and medium series. For applications in larger series (e.g. in automotive applications), marketing will start in 2011-2012. At this time, several patents have been granted for this technology. Georgia Tech / UMI 2958: A pleasant experience at GT Lorraine has been described by Dr Paul Voss. The Lorraine scientific team of Georgia Tech has since 2006 had quite a lot of collaborations going with a variety of partners from the same region. Not only is The Research team part of a research joint venture between GT and CNRS called UMI 2958; the same researchers also collaborate with several universities in the region. According to the Georgia Tech experience, the distribution of IPR has never been a divisive subject in their dialogues with research partners. As many IPR departments of universities are quite overworked, the experience shows that the IPR departments are quite capable of developing an ownership structure of the IP resulting from the collaborations that satisfies the needs of all involved. Perhaps precisely because the professionals in the IPR departments are less connected to the scientific subjects at hand, they tend to divide easily both the workloads and the potential future benefits associated with the IP that comes out of the collaborations. The best practice here is mainly to involve all relevant IPR departments at an early stage, and to let their professionals discuss a preliminary outline of a sharing agreement that can then later be fine-tuned by the scientists involved themselves.

27


28

CASE Intellectual Ventures Inc by Nathan Myhrvold (ex CTO of Microsoft) Nathan Myhrvold used to be the CTO of Microsoft, and in that position earned enough money to retire and spend the rest of his life on a yacht in the Caribbean. However, Mr Myhrvold is not the lazy kind, and also he is extremely smart. So smart, that he likes to be surrounded by others who are equally smart. However being an ex-Microsoft top manager, he also knows the impact that large amounts of money can have, and especially the power of combining substantial funds with very, very bright ideas. His perception of the financial investment market in inventions and other bright ideas however is that this market simply does not work well. Perhaps this is best illustrated by the exception, the one market where bright ideas do create monetary value every step of their development: the biotech/pharma business. In pharmaceuticals, ideas get developed along a quite well-known and generally acknowledged path: first identifying a protein in a cell that has something to do with a disease, then identifying a way to influence that protein being created or how it interacts with the human cells in which it is found. Then, developing a substance that achieves this influence. Then, checking out in a Petri dish if that substance does not damage the rest of the cell. Then, testing the same substance on rats. Then, doing a first small scale trial on human patients. Then, step by step growing the clinical testing of the substance, until you have sufficient data to convince regulatory bodies especially in the EU and in the USA that your substance is safe, and that you have figured out how much to give to a sick person to make him or her better. All of these steps are known in the pharma industry, and each of these steps has a value in the marketplace. This is why biotech firms (or pharma firms) are able to value their R&D work, depending on the phase they are in. And because they can value it, they can also attract investors to finance the work needed to go from one step to the next.


Core & key functions

The same clarity of value is not found in most other scientific sectors. For example, if you develop a new nanomaterial that could end up in the cathode of an electric car Lithium Ion battery, then there is no generally accepted phasing from ‘first idea’ to ‘can be sold in the market today’. There’s also no generally agreed framework to value the steps, even if they were defined and known. As a result, a company developing a cathode material for an electric car battery has much more trouble obtaining finance compared to a biotech company trying to finance its Stage 1 clinical trials. Back to Nathan Myhrvold and his company: Intellectual Ventures Inc. This company attracted 5 billion US dollars (four thousand million euro!) in order to build up a large portfolio of patents in a range of high-interest sectors. Intellectual Ventures buys (portfolios of) patents from owners of such patents across the world. They also invent themselves: with several Nobel prize winners in their invention teams, they have invented big ideas like a mini-star wars version of the US satellite missile shelter in order to kill malariacarrying mosquitoes (prototype being built!). In 2009, Intellectual Ventures was the in the top 50 of companies that applied for patents in the world with 450 patents applied for on own inventions, ahead of companies like Boeing, 3M or Toyota. Intellectual Ventures is now licensing its very large patent portfolio to big industry players that see IV as a way to negotiate access to thousands of patents with a manageable effort. Patent licensing departments of large industries are normally overworked and have almost standard backlog stacks of files to go through. The bundling of thousands of patents saves the big corporate company time and provides access to thousands of bright ideas that have been screened for minimal value and protectability.

Further reading Harvard Business Review, March 2010, pp. 40-50.

29


30

Exploitation towards newly created ventures In Europe most policies for technology transfer foster exploitation models in which a university or research centre licenses a patent (IP) to a researcher who becomes the founder of the new company. As some researchers reject this role as businessmen, sometimes the scientific leader is complemented with a pure business person, creating a balanced team of scientist/inventor and merchant (perhaps not unlike the Philips brothers when they built their light bulb business at the end of the 19th century, or Mr Hewlett and Mr Packard in the Bay Area in the US around the same time). As a means to ensure future income for the RTC that helps the start-up to be created, and also to ensure a seat on the supervisory board of the start-up, some RTC become shareholders themselves in the start-up they create. Their participation could be limited to contributions to the share capital or could also be concerned with the process of creation of spin-offs. Both cases require expert staff. Centres can provide services to new companies combining those that have to do with entrepreneurial and business support, access to mentors and investors or visibility in the market place with other more technological services, like specific office and lab spaces or facilities such as clean rooms or measurement devices. A best practice approach found both at CeNTech and MST.factory partners in the nano4m consortium consists of incubation services specifically for micro/nano business, selecting services and facilities suitable for these technologies. Thus, an RTC faces many questions when it considers getting involved in spin-off creation as a means of IP exploitation. Should the RTC become a shareholder or not? Should it encourage researchers to re-invent themselves into entrepreneurs, or should it seek to complement its research staff with commercial people perhaps with a business education? Should the money needed to create and run the company come from public funds, from private funds or even from private ‘business angels’? Should the RTC embark on the creation of start-ups alone, or should it join forces with other


Core & key functions

31

RTC that have similar ambitions? How can the RTC avoid creating R&D service companies with little or no long-term value creation potential? How can it convince its large industry clients and alliances that it is not creating competitors for them, keeping the best RTD results for its own exploitation and leaving the second-rate results for its existing clients? If the RTC is partially owned or governed by specific companies or industries, then the avoidance of conflict of interest is even more important. It is especially relevant here to consider the increasing amount of large industries that have over the last 10 years set up ‘corporate venturing’ programs aimed at developing the business units of the future for their mother companies. These days, more than half of the European Top-500 multinationals have such a department. These departments are run very much like venture capital funds, with the big difference that they are connected to a large industry with, in most cases, very deep, global and detailed understanding of specific businesses, technologies and markets. Unlike the VC, they are actors themselves in the industrial arena, and can directly help start-ups if that is in their interest. An RTC should develop networks with Corporate Venturing departments in its relevant industries. Defining success in incubation It has for the last decade become almost fashionable for an RTC to have a couple of spin-off companies attached to it, whenever possible housed in a kind of incubator co-located at the research centre facilities and allowed to use the RTC infrastructure under attractive less-than-cost conditions. It is important to contemplate seriously however what these spinoff incubation programs aim to achieve, and to adopt the appropriate indicators of success. In many spin-off companies, the survival of the company is fully dependent on ongoing reception of public funding through research grants combined with the abovementioned advantageous conditions for lab access. Even if this is not necessarily a problem for a certain period of time (many recently created high tech firms need quite a few years to develop a more stable and more entrepreneurial basis to generate income), it should not morph into a modus operandi for the start-ups, losing track of the final objective to create competitive, sustainable business enterprises that create wealth and pay taxes (rather than receiving them in the form

Further reading McKinsey & Company, Inc.: "Starting Up: Achieving success with professional business planning" (1998). Jack Lang: "The HighTech Entrepreneur’s Handbook: How to Start and Run a High-Tech Company" (2002)


32

of subsidies and free lab infrastructure). Again, especially in nano, the road towards commercial success can be long and thus one should have a good deal of patience with these start-ups. In microtech and nanotech, lab infrastructure and equipment are also very expensive and thus favourable conditions for access to them might be necessary to create a sustainable business in the future. However, it is essential to formulate well the ultimate objective of the (portfolio of) start-ups, and to monitor both their progress towards these final objectives, and the business deals the start-ups make. These start-ups should not be diluted into low cost contract research contractors with no own IP and little leverage on their human resources beyond that provided by the RTC.

CeNTech


Core & key functions

Good practice from nano4m partners CeNTech: ION-TOF GmbH is a leading European manufacturer in the field of ion beam technology for nanoscale surface analysis. The company was founded in 1989 to commercialize the original research carried out by Professor Benninghoven and his group at the University of Münster, Germany, in the field of Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) in the early 80’s. Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) is a very sensitive surface analytical technique. It provides detailed elemental and molecular information about surfaces, thin layers, interfaces and full 3D analysis of the samples. Today, ION-TOF has more than 220 instruments in operation in industrial and academic laboratories all over the world. The instruments are used to study features down to the nanoscale on semiconductors, organic displays, polymers, biomaterials, coatings and pharmaceutical surfaces. In 2007 ION-TOF expanded its product range to the complementary technique of high sensitivity low energy ion scattering (LEIS), in cooperation with Professor Brongersma from the Eindhoven University of Technology. The new Qtac instrument is extremely surface sensitive and allows elemental and structural characterization of the top atomic layer. ION-TOF is participating in a number of national and international research projects and is also collaborating with several groups at the University of Münster and at CeNTech. With more than 65 employees working in Münster and New York, ION-TOF is a perfect example for the successful transformation of original university concepts into innovative products for the world market.

33


34

Good practice from nano4m partners MST.factory dortmund: NanoRelief GmbH was founded in 2005 with an office in MST.factory as the company’s headquarters. The company focuses on the development of innovative light modulators, so-called LMR, for video projection based on micro and nanotechnology. The light modulation is realised by deforming a transparent polymer in the nm range. This deformation is achieved by electrostatic forces of an electrical field. The resolution of the LMR, which is well protected by international family patents, is only limited by the minimum structure size of the appropriate electrodes. The main advantages of this modulator are cost effective manufacturing and high light transmission efficiency combined with a small minimal structure size and high contrast ratio. Such a light modulator has the ability to push the video projector market significantly. The functionalities of the LMR are comparable with expensive DMD (Digital Micromirror Devices) developed by Texas Instruments. Because of its simplicity, the LMR can be manufactured much more cheaply than competing technologies. NanoRelief expects that the weight, size and price of a new DLP (Digital Light Processor) based on LMR will be substantially less than for existent projectors. Besides DLP, the LMR can be used in a wide range of application areas, such as: tunable diffraction gratings; image correction systems; telecom attenuators, splitters, multiplexers, switches; front and rear displays, home TV systems, information panels, microlenses, printers, polygraphic equipment, adaptive optics, MEMS, etc. MST.factory accompanied the company’s founder, Prof. Dr. Sc. Yury Gushcho, during the formation stage of the company, particularly in creating a realistic business plan and its compliance with legal requirements in setting up a GmbH. In subsequent years, MST.factory assisted NanoRelief in identifying and accessing various public funding sources which enabled the


Core & key functions

35

company to complete a first projector prototype. Furthermore, the company’s founder was supported in building up the management team. Currently, the company has expanded to a total of 10 permanent employees and several student assistants in 7 offices and 3 laboratories. Apart from this “soft” support, MST.factory provided the company with laboratory equipment and the corresponding technical infrastructure on a rental basis, thus helping the company to further develop their prototypes and to grow continuously. These crucial prerequisites were of critical importance for the entry of a Venture Capital investor, who has accompanied NanoRelief since 2010 with an investment volume of several million Euros. NanoRelief also benefits from a very well developed network created by MST.factory especially when searching for alternative financing options, development partners and suppliers. Thanks to this diverse and extensive support NanoRelief GmbH is expected in 2-3 years’ time to enter the market with a highly innovative product.

MST.factory dortmund


36

People (or human resources) management function The literature and experience of RTC partners in the nano4m project confirm that Human Resources (HR) management, apart from other variables, is a key factor of how innovation reaches the market. Some aspects of human resources management are particularly important in the field of nano/microtechnologies. Example: the specific relationship between the synthesis, handling of nanoparticles, their applications and use in the field of nanomaterials and the vast range of applications suggests a broad range of scientific domains that need to be covered by different specialists when working in nanomaterials. So, as in many fields of the science, though especially in nano/microtechnologies research, concentrating knowledge of different scientific domains and coordinating scientific and business mindsets should be considered as a very relevant goal of a human resources policy in RTC. These requirements of a variety of experiences can be obtained by the widening of an individual researcher’s knowledge, by multidisciplinary teams, through mobility programmes or capturing the interest of talented people. Each of these possibilities should be carefully analyzed by RTC.


Core & key functions

Multidisciplinary teams The plurality of experience required for nano/microtechnology R&D projects is usually reached by contributions from the group of researchers. The nano/micro applications may touch on several distinct market sectors, requiring a wealth of diverse knowledge to bring them to reality. Multidisciplinary teams can be made up of researchers coming from the same organization or from centres located relatively close to one another or even linked via webtools (the “cloud�) as is the case of Georgia TechLorraine with the main university in Atlanta. Researchers belonging or not to the same organization, can be under one roof (same building) and within the same lab, or not. They could combine permanent team building structures and temporally short living structures. Although long-term mobility (e.g. PhD or senior researchers) is more suitable for the complexity of nano/microtechnology processes, short-term mobility, up to 6 months, could offer a sufficient contribution to the plurality of ideas and skills of a centre. Multidisciplinary teams made up of researchers from academia and industry can potentially be more innovative, by sharing different backgrounds and focus, and more efficient in technology transfer. The cooperation between industry and science is typically business-motivated and multidisciplinary teams are structured according to the exploitation paths and commercial needs of their business plans. To achieve an efficient multidisciplinary organisation, a matrix-type HR scheme can be used, where the people’s competences are distributed through its project portfolio. The matrix structure not only helps distribute required skills through multiple projects, but can also help uncover which skills are not sufficiently represented in the organisation and might require additional training, recruitment or mobility programmes.

37


38

Good practice from nano4m partners Institut Jean Lamour has established five transversal projects called federative projects the goal of which for the teams of the Institute is to initiate scientific cooperation between all of its teams. As an example of good practice for transversality, the federative project STAN merges two departments working on spectroscopy specifically for nanostructured thin films or expitaxial nanostructures. The strength of this project is to have both experts in a given spectroscopy and different groups using spectroscopy to study and better understand properties of material that they elaborate. This project aims to: • Create collaborations between different groups searching for competences in spectroscopy • Ensure scientific animation with a dynamic teaching approach for outside field teams to obtain better knowledge on spectroscopy techniques • Promote the capabilities of the institute and enhance scientific visibility • Gather calculi activities to encourage an efficient crosscutting activity about electronic and spectroscopic properties • Develop spectroscopic techniques for synchrotron and other different systems To evaluate the performance of such a project, the management board of IJL established an internal evaluation policy through a set of indicators. Common standard indicators such as number of publications, number of invitations and participation in international conferences, etc. are taken into account. As the main axis of this project is transversality, some other indicators are used to reflect the degree of collaboration between the different teams involved in it, such as qualitative reports (sharing skills and knowledge) and quantitative reports (bibliometric approach) initiated in the framework of the project as well. The Activity Report of the Institute for the last five years is being written at present but the transversality approach can be seen as one of the most successful keys of IJL.


Core & key functions

Institut Jean Lamour

39


40

Widening the knowledge of individual researchers An individual increase in the knowledge or skills of researchers is usually promoted by yearly qualification/training plans. It seems to be necessary to maintain a constant offer of training for business issues as a complementary qualification desirable for all nano/micro-researchers. On the contrary, definition of the yearly training plan for complementary knowledge in other scientific domains could be planned based on the ongoing projects in which researchers are involved or those foreseen for the near future. Sometimes researchers need to look for new specific knowledge outside their own organization. In this case researcher mobility is an important means of transmitting tacit knowledge that cannot be codified and transmitted as information through documents or other communication channels. Training pathways could be commonly coordinated by industry and academia and be oriented towards marketable applications of nanotechnologies and microtechnologies. Additionally, Centres should design individual mobility plans for their researchers, focussed on the project requirements in which they are involved. Researcher leaving the centre: knowledge transfer at its best? Effective technology transfer of nanotech and microtech research results often requires a great amount of specific knowledge to be passed on from the research centre to the client company. This deep understanding of the underlying science and technology is hidden in large part in the tacit knowledge of the researchers. Technology and knowledge transfer can be achieved more completely when complemented with the transfer of human resources, i.e. researchers that have been actively involved in the development of the technology being transferred. The transfer of human resources however has its impact on the HR strategy of the research centre, as regards the loss of specific technological competences and the management of researcher turnover. It is important


Core & key functions

41

to map the RTC’s core competences to ensure that its knowledge base is not actually diminishing due to this transfer strategy. It is equally important to plan the transfer at the beginning of the Technology Transfer (TT) process, which would then allow one to plan for necessary training programmes and search for new researchers that will take the place of those who leave. It is worth mentioning that the benefits of human resources transfer are two-fold. While from the customer’s viewpoint the technology transfer is most effective, from the RTC’s viewpoint the researchers transferred serve as a strong linking point between the company and the centre. To make this a successful strategy, clear rules should be established to cover any conflicts of career intentions of the researchers, for example should they want to return to the research centre. The opposite case might also happen: a researcher or R&D manager from industry might jump sides to take up a similar role in an RTC. This is more likely to happen if the RTC and the corporation have a close relationship and common projects. The knowledge, experience and network brought by the person arriving can be equally valuable as in the case of a researcher leaving the centre. Attracting talent In general, country/regional governments recognise the value of attracting top class scientists from abroad.1 In particular, when dealing with nano and microtechnology oriented projects, the knowledge required needs to be acquired rapidly and in depth because of the high expectations generated by the possible future applications of Nanotechnology in a particular branch of industry and the large commercial impact predicted. So RTC need to be attractive for world-class research talents to be involved in their knowledge transfer projects, catching their attention through economic or statutory incentives and honorary positions.

1

Attract Talent Programme (UK), ICREA (Cataluña, ES)

Further reading F. Cesaroni, A. Di Mininand, A. Piccaluga: "New strategic goals and organizational solutions in large R&D labs: lessons from Centro Ricerche Fiat and Telecom Italia Lab", R&D Management 34, 1, (2004).


42

INTERACTING IN YOUR ECOSYSTEM


Interacting in your ecosystem

The triple, quadruple or quintuple helix RTC are increasingly operating in a tight network of complementary organisations. For a number of years now, the whole ecosystem related to innovation has been referred to as the triple helix: the system that consists of the research community, the business community and the public administration (government) community. Each of these three communities operates on several levels: regional, national, European and global. Each of these communities is coordinated on these geographical scope levels, and also coordinates with the other key elements in the triple helix.

Recently the idea has been launched that perhaps we would need to add two important factors to this triple helix: the citizens themselves (or ‘the general public’ or ‘consumers’ depending on your vocabulary) and the finance sector (banks, funds, investors). It is by now generally accepted wisdom to consider that effective innovation best takes place when the triple helix actors act in a coordinated way. This means that industry, government and (applied) science actors should have dialogue about priorities, about desirable and less desirable research, about key societal challenges facing citizens on various levels, and on how to best develop and implement solutions to these challenges.

43


44

For an RTC, this means that relationships with industry and government must be maintained on both the high management level as well as on the operational level. It means that RTC policies, priorities and strategies must be aligned with local, national and global policies of governments and with strategies of industries. Increasingly it also means that RTC need to interact with the general public, in order to understand better the needs of society and to make the general public understand better what science can (and cannot) do. And finally it means that the most advanced RTC will invest in good relationships with financial actors in their ecosystem, that they need to invest in understanding the drivers and barriers of financial actors and the key indicators that are important to their decision-making. One key tendency of special relevance to nanotech and microtech RTC is the fact that increasingly companies and governments are viewing science from a ‘societal challenge’ perspective. This means that interest in the ‘nano’ or ‘micro’ aspect disappears, and is replaced by a keen interest in any technology or science that can address a specific societal challenge. This new perspective results in substantial changes regarding the themes that attract funding from industry or from government, and thus also leads to a keen need for the RTC to position its nano and micro RTD in the light of what the results might contribute to solutions for societal challenges such as climate change, aging population demographics or global scarcity of food and water due to population and wealth growth.

Further reading Henry Etzkowitz: "The triple helix: university-industry-government innovation in action", (2008). Loet Leydesdorff "The Triple Helix, Quadruple Helix, ..., and an N-tuple of Helices" (http://www.leydesdorff.net/ntuple/).


Interacting in your ecosystem

Relations with other centres (including universities) Sharing infrastructures and resources In our globalised world examples of long-term collaborative research agreements are not uncommon. The benefits of such joint research facilities are obvious: shared investment cost, strategic locations, shared resources and synergies in the work of researchers, engineers, and technicians assigned to the same laboratories by the partner institutions. Incubators are another form of facility sharing with similar characteristics, but which may cover different parts of the value chain (spin-off commercialisation near a research lab). Local, national, European or global networking Other forms of interregional cooperation may not involve setting up a new site. Science and Technology Parks or clusters are examples of local networks associated with RTC, as well as with other actors.

Good practice from nano4m partners Prodintec: Manufacturias is a new concept of cluster (innovationbased cluster) in which a Technology Centre and 28 companies are collaborating by doing innovation projects. The communication with industry is bidirectional: from industry to Prodintec with their needs and problems to be solved and from Prodintec to industry by transferring technology (own or from third parties) by means of innovation projects. The Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade (MITYC) has recognized this innovation-based cluster as an Innovation Business Group.

45


46

In an international context, European Technology Platforms (ETP) provide a framework for stakeholders, led by industry, with an aim to define research and development priorities, timeframes and action plans on a number of strategically important issues where Europe’s future growth can be achieved. ETP could provide an interesting model for local networking suitable for international collaborations.

Good practice from nano4m partners Prodintec participates actively in European Technology Platforms such as Manufuture (manufacturing), Nanofutures (nanotechnology) and MINAM (micro and nano manufacturing). Research opportunities derived from the Strategic Research Agendas of these platforms as well as the latest advances in technologies in these fields are transferred by means of projects promoted by Prodintec to companies participating in this regional cluster.

On a more global scale, international cooperation can be sought with top RTC and universities in fields that are complementary to the project portfolio of the centre.

Good practice from nano4m partners Some nano4m partners are examples of long-term collaborative research agreements between local, national or international partners: — Joint researchers from different centres such as CINN — Joint Research Units like Institut Jean Lamour UMR — International joint units like Georgia Tech UMI


Interacting in your ecosystem

Pooling funds, and IPR Another interesting example of a potential field for cooperation is to create packages of critical mass of IP which may be attractive to the international private sector. This can be done by pooling R&D results and their associated IP rights from international institutions. Such pooling of resources facilitates transnational technology transfer, since R&D centres share information on new, commercially relevant technologies in a structured manner with companies across Europe. Alternatively, such pooling can address a single industry sector or a single knowledge transfer activity. This proposal is being tested by some groups of universities in Europe. Due to its market orientation it seems to be an interesting practice for RTC in an international setting.2 Flows of students and researchers between centres National or international mobility of researchers can also prove a useful way of sharing knowledge and building relationships between distant centres. Exchange programmes like Marie-Curie and Euraxess for Europe and others for global mobility can be used to finance mobility initiatives. In addition to the generic programmes, it is recommended that RTC arrange customised mobility initiatives, according to their projects and researchers’ individual needs.

2

http://www.universitiesireland.ie/news/techtransfer.php & www.whiterose.ac.uk

47


48

“Research tourism� recognizes the value of visitors to the laboratory, who give feedback on the choice of RTC projects. Such visits can be informal or can be formalized with an advisory board or a peer-review board consisting of members from other firms, government organizations, and academia. The goal seems to be two-fold. First, research tourism assures an influx of new ideas and broadens the portfolio of projects. Second, the peer-review board complements managerial judgment in the evaluation of people and projects and serves as a benchmark evaluation of the RTC. Competition issues In the scientific world, networks of researchers or institutions are often created spontaneously. In the technology domain, when academia-industry connections are present, competition could inhibit attempts to set up any kind of collaborative actions, so relationships between centres need to be carefully assessed. With regard specifically to nanotechnology, flexible relationships among institutions could be easily arranged around subjects that affect nanotechnology horizontally and require joint efforts to deal with health and safety, for example, or environmental risks.


Interacting in your ecosystem

Relations with industry The second arm of the triple helix scheme has to do with the connection of the RTC to industry. Reaching out and working closer with industry can have a direct impact on the marketability of the research results and the time-to-market of the projects. Understanding nano/microtech value chains In order to effectively communicate with industries that can adopt nanotech or microtech research applications, it is important to understand how their value chains are structured. Especially in the case of nano-materials for example, the value chain includes raw material suppliers, final formulation suppliers, product moulders (the company that gives a specific shape to a certain material or combination of materials), product finishers, machinery suppliers, service providers and in some cases product installers/retailers. Depending on where the nano-material is applied, one could add the sub-system integrator and final system integrator to this chain, right before the distribution and retailing. Many estimations of sales figures for nano-materials in the past have unfortunately been based on a value for that material not realized in the early stages of the value chain, where in most cases the nanotech company needs to sell its product.

CASE HYPERION: As an example, one can take the carbon nanotube enabled product of anti-static fuel lines. For decades, US based company Hyperion owned by-now expired patents that allowed it to command a very good price on its final product. When the patents had expired, many Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) producing scientists created their business plans assuming that the value of the fuel line masterbatch plastic pallets would be almost fully transferred to the value of the CNT. However, in the end, CNT production is now turning into a commodity business while the real value is being extracted by those that are able to supply ready-to-mix masterbatches to plastic injection moulders (or extrusion moulders).

49


50

The steps from basic material cost per kilo, to intermediate pre-mixed price per kilo, to final moulded part price per kilo often go by orders of magnitude, leaving relatively little value for those that operate upstream in the value chain. In the microtech business, different value chain structures are found, but basically the issue is the same: when trying to estimate the value of certain IPR, one needs to carefully consider where in the value chain this IPR is going to be used, and based on that position try to calculate which part of the value added in that specific step in the value chain could be claimed to be destined to the IPR subject of the calculation. Increase return/yield of centres’ assets Furthermore, in collaborative agreements for research projects centres can offer facilities, like lab spaces, with or without appropriate staff to develop all or some of the research and development programs of companies. The scope of this kind of collaboration will depend on the free space and equipment available and on the expertise level of the researchers of the centres. In the nano/microtechnology field this proposal gains interest due to the high cost of certain special building features (vibration free foundation, clean room facilities, etc.) and to the high expertise requirements. Some companies’ tests require specific infrastructures and knowledge for periods that do not justify an investment and therefore they will be willing to contract services. In fact, RTC might go further and invest in facilities for upscaling (near production services). Open innovation houses in line with this idea make application scenarios under real conditions on final users together with developers and technology partners.


Interacting in your ecosystem

Good practice from nano4m partners MST.factory dortmund: Innolume GmbH (formerly NSC Nanosemiconductor GmbH), originating technologically at the internationally well-known physico-technical Abraham Ioffe Institute in St. Petersburg/Russia, is a world leading supplier of Quantum Dot based semiconductor lasers in the wave­length range from 1064 to 1320 nm providing applications in the communications, medical and industrial sectors. Innolume was established in Dortmund in 2003; its headquarters and development/prototyping activities are located in the premises of MST.factory dortmund, the Dortmund-based competence centre for micro and nanotechnology. Since 2006, Innolume has also run an application support office in Santa Clara, California. The company offers solutions for optical interconnect technologies in next generation high-speed data transfer. The main strategic product of Innolume is a COMB-Laser, a diode laser that emits in parallel many laser modes in a stable manner. The COMB-Laser is suitable to act as light source for multiple channels in fibre communication simultaneously. Thus this laser may be considered as a single-chip DWDM source (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing). Innolume’s COMB-Laser and extensive activities in the area of photonic integrated solutions eliminate the bottleneck in electronic data signalling over copper wires. Future applications will address short reach optical links in data centres, server rooms, etc. Apart from this, Innolume is active in medical, industrial and traditional telecommunications applications with a variety of opto-electronic products. In MST.factory, Innolume has access to a fully equipped prototyping line, ranging from epitaxial growth via lithography and etching to dicing and fibre coupling. As a consequence, the company can achieve extremely short development cycles and react to customer requests very flexibly. The combination of Innolume’s innovative technology and the tailorcut economic work environment enabled by MST.factory makes Innolume an attractive target for financial investors in the field of micro/ nanotechnology. The initial investments of the centre in technological infrastructure and prototyping hardware turned out to be particularly important to attract private investors for the first financing round. Since then, Innolume has raised some 17m Euros mainly from venture capitalists and is looking forward to a prosperous future.

51


52

Collaborative Research & Development with companies Although it seems to be more than evident that RTC and companies collaborate on research and development projects with more or less success, it is still a problem for RTC to find their orientation since most of them tend to be “looking for problems” instead of “looking for solutions”. Especially in basic nanotechnology research where the trend still is first to do research and then look for applications, it is tremendously relevant to concentrate all efforts from the first moment on the clear definition of application targets. At the beginning of this decade the US chemical industry clearly requested “Nanomaterials by Design” 3 and followed together with the research institutions a definite path in this direction.4 In the context of these guidelines especially relevant is the application-driven collaboration in the phases of definition strategy for product and process development and upscaling and prototyping.

CINN

3 Chemical Industry R&D Roadmap for Nanomaterials By Design: From Fundamentals to Function http://www.chemicalvision2020.org/pdfs/nano_roadmap.pdf 4 CINN and other nanomaterials and nanotechnology oriented research institutions was launched since its start in this direction identifying clear applications horizons and industry-close technologies, in a strong and proactive collaboration with mostly private companies at national and international level.


Interacting in your ecosystem

Good practice from nano4m partners Agenzia per lo Sviluppo Empolese Valdelsa (ASEV): Regione Toscana thinks that a good way of creating a strong link between centres and industries can be by door-to-door animators, a newly created figure which will have the task to directly contact every single company to inform them about market possibilities and opportunities deriving from the centres. The door-to-door animators, which have a profile in between a researcher and a territorial marketing expert, will be suitably trained with the use of regional funding. They will have a basic general technical knowledge, good commercial and relational skills, but they don’t need to be too expert in the technical area tackled by the centre they work for. Their role is to be the contact point, to provide general information and to introduce the subject to the contacted companies, leaving the more technical and specific aspects to the researchers or better to the dedicated board of the future Polo delle Nanotecnologie in charge of directing the “clients� to the right experts participating in the Polo consortium. In fact the Polo groups participating are representative of academic and industrial research and are working in the field of different applications of nanotechnologies in the Toscana Region and in the national Consortium of Universities, so a large range of expertise and techniques will be covered. This system will be funded by Tuscany Region in all its Innovation poles or centres (among which is Empoli participating with ASEV in the Polo delle Nanotecnologie).

53


54

Knowledge and technology transfer tools Marketing activities Although most research of RTC is focused on market needs previously analysed, the centre should be able to go further and identify groups of interest within the market to which the knowledge might be of interest. Due to the novelty of nano/micro technologies, centres have to make a permanent effort to monitor new applications of these technologies and therefore new markets. Centres should arrange regular meetings with industry, collectively or avoiding simultaneous presence of competitors, depending on the agenda. These marketing activities are usually carried out locally at different social events, such as technology breakfasts with individual companies or technology forums with industrial clusters. To extend this model to the international context is complex and expensive. Social web 2.0 offers an important communication channel, providing a wealth of inexpensive web-conferencing or online community tools. Industry peer reviews In nanotechnology assessments it is important to carefully and methodically analyse R&D results, separating science from the more realistic engineering expectations. Issues such as reproducibility of results, technical scale-up engineering, product/process economic feasibility, risk management, Health, Safety and Environmental Issues (HSE), etc, are frequently not studied in depth. Cross-sectorial peer review could be requested from industry for the most promising research results. Technology implementation analysis At the same time Technology road mapping can be used as a key enabler for strategy development. Roadmaps are primarily based on workshops in which the stakeholders and multidisciplinary domain experts are brought together to capture, share and structure knowledge relating to the strategic issues facing the organisation.


Interacting in your ecosystem

CASE Fiat Research Centre (CRF): In order to server better its clients CRF makes a conscious effort to predict and understand its clients’ immediate and future needs, which it then tries to fulfil based on Technology Transfer Plans. Firstly it identifies, from an organizational point of view, the strategic focus on research transfer. CRF’s transfer policy is to develop products, processes and technologies to be effectively transferred to the clients. This transfer process is entirely planned at the beginning of a research project, which is usually not launched unless the expected outputs and the related customers’ advantages are clearly defined. Hence, each research project is composed of a plan of action, which is part of a major activity plan.

55


56

Relations with citizens/ general public Public knowledge and understanding of key enabling technologies is often very limited. This can contribute to environmental or health and safety concerns about the development and use of high technologies becoming one of the most important barriers to commercialization. As drafted in the technology transfer report on ‘potential health, safety and environmental risks in relation to nanomaterials’, it is necessary to raise public awareness about nanotechnology by informing and educating the business class, the media and the citizens on implications, possibilities and legal issues that will arise from nanotechnology. It is strongly recommended to educate society about nanotechnology by emphasizing the huge benefits predicted for future. What is still negative is the use of the term nano associated with anthropogenic pollutants. The problem of pollution originated by nano-powders is a typical example. Although nano-powders have been largely produced by human activity since the industrial revolution (and the problem exploded with the large diffusion of classical engines powered cars and other transport media) they have been considered a considerable health problem only since the advancement of science in the capacity of resolution of smaller and smaller dimensions allowed for the discovery of these kinds of materials and for the study of how to tackle the problem; from this point of view, even if nanotechnology plays a crucial positive role it is only associated with a severe problem faced by all the people living in towns. Efforts should be addressed to making this and similar aspects clearer. At the same time nano-pollution cannot be disregarded due to those aspects concerning the industrial production of nanomaterial and the fate of waste containing nano-products. The former point may be addressed more easily as it is possible to control the different phases of production


Interacting in your ecosystem

of materials and devices containing nanomaterials. Less easy will be the control of objects and devices containing nanomaterials, so efforts will be made to study the possible different reactivity of chemical compounds at the nanoscale compared with the same compound of larger size. A crucial point is to have proper and balanced information to avoid an explosion of irrational scares and wrong public perceptions about nanotechnology, like those that recently accompanied the discussion on genetic modifications.5 For this, it is recommended to listen carefully and try to address sincerely the claims of the opposed parties. At the same time it can be observed that the majority of media communication is focused on Health, Environment and Safety issues, mainly emphasizing the risks of Nanotechnology. In this respect, without denying the need for correct information about these critical issues, it would be nevertheless desirable to have more balanced information describing the large number of amazing, safe products commercialized by the nanotech industry and already in use. In other words it is not just the amount of information available, but rather the quality of information that must be improved to create a solid public awareness of nanotechnologies. There is no step-by-step manual for bringing together stakeholders to address public concerns or fears. RTC have to take the initiative with both local and central institutions to promote the diffusion of knowledge of the large benefits society can receive from the development of nanotechnology, as well as to correctly inform where problems connected to the use and production of nano-related products are still present. > Communication activities for the media The wide collection of topics under the concept “Nanotechnology” usually causes misunderstanding in public opinion concerning the risks and advantages of different matters. Workshops for the media 5 In France, between Sept 2009 and February 2010, a series of public debates was organized in the main towns between scientists and the audience in order to discuss the implications of the introduction of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials for the environment and public health. Unfortunately, those events were perturbed by a systematic and strong opposition organized by ecologist movements especially “France Nature et Environnement” (FNE).

57


58

in communicating controversial new technology while avoiding linguistic confusion through definitions is being carried out in some important Universities in Europe. > Communication activities for scientists With the same purpose, courses aimed at people working in nanotechnology with interest in its public communication and ethical implications are organized.6 > Communication activities involving the public7 In some R&T environments dissemination events for public opinion are organized, such as: International conferences, Science Festival Events, Image exhibitions.

Good practice from nano4m partners CeNTech: The public is invited to visit CeNTech on a regular basis. CeNTech or the City of M端nster invite school classes, politicians or just the regular public. The visitors get a short introduction about Nanotechnology (products already available, risks) and later on receive a tour through CeNTech. In particular, the open and objective risk debate is important as researchers and the centre management are often confronted with fears about nano in these events.

Further reading ObservatoryNano reports on EHS: http://www.observatorynano.eu NanoMeter (nanotechnology impact questionnaire): http://www.observatorynano.eu/project/questionnaire/nanometer.

6 7

http://nanobio-raise.org http://cambridgesciencefestival.org & http://www.s3.infm.it/blowup/index


Interacting in your ecosystem

Relations with governments The third category in the ecosystem with whom to coordinate activities, strategies and objectives is that of the government. Most RTC, either linked to local universities or to local sector clusters, have an especially tight relationship with their local regional government. As many RTC also receive a part of the their baseline funding from national governments and many of them have at least a national scope of operation, this level of government must be liaised with specifically. And finally, especially for those that have international ambitions or activities, there needs to be coordination with the European Commission, the closest equivalent to a European government. Coordination does not mean subordinate obedience, nor can it be limited to informing the relevant governments of the choices made by the centre management. If an RTC understands its role in society to go beyond its own survival, growth or success, then coordination means open and transparent dialogue, alignment of priorities, leveraging of resources and bundling of initiatives. With the recent strong re-orientation of many government policies towards societal challenges rather than the former scientific themes, such coordination becomes even more important than ever. Many RTCs have government representatives on their supervisory board; in many cases such government representatives even have a dominant position on such boards. As such, one might argue that governments have a very closely-knit relationship with such RTC. One should however consider that governments usually have many departments, and that in general the department represented on an RTC board has a background in education or science policies. For the RTC to function well, close coordination with science and education policies is not enough. Especially for a market oriented RTC, the industry & commerce policy making departments are just as important. For

59


60

nanotech, departments of public safety and consumer perception should be also explicitly liaised with. RTC therefore need to establish fluent formal and informal dialogue with various governments departments. Besides the obvious ones for science and technology policy the departments for industry and commerce, public safety and consumer perceptions are important. Obviously other departments may also be of interest: Treasury departments that might be able to perform a role in the financing of start-ups or in investments in high cost research infrastructure, EU affairs departments that might be able to help with EU level collaborations, and foreign investment departments to coordinate the attraction of investments that are aligned with the policies and activities of the RTC. The bottom line is that market oriented RTC need to view the government as a strategic partner far beyond the minimum role of being a co-financier of the RTC. Governments make science policies, industry policies, they affect consumer perception, they can mobilize public and private funding and can even represent substantial demand for high-tech solutions. Government tendencies Recent tendencies in innovation policies by governments reflect the reduced availability of budget to be dedicated to research grants. Increasingly, governments are looking at formulas that lend out, rather than give away, money. Such models often take the shape of a revolving investment fund that provides high-risk loans (without collateral) to R&D projects, with the condition that if an R&D project is successful the loan must be paid back. Such models will automatically drive the nature of R&D projects to be funded towards ‘bankable’ investments, i.e. projects with a clear pathway to new products or services that can generate income. Of course, some baseline funding for more exploratory research will remain available, but RTC should anticipate this general shift. Another general tendency found in many regions and countries is that of an increased interest in stimulating innovation rather than stimulating R&D. Many scientific studies have established that although a lot of


Interacting in your ecosystem

innovation is founded on good science and technological development, there is also a lot of innovation that does not require these building blocks. Also, increasingly evidence is presented that science may be less local than many local regional governments would like: great science attracts interest from across the globe and may lead to jobs and prosperity more in those places where it is applied in an innovation than where it was first conceived. RTC should be aware of this tendency and analyze how it will likely affect their future funding and exploitation approaches.

Institut Jean Lamour

61


62

Relations with finance actors: the possible fifth element Traditionally the finance community has had little interest in science. Even though exceptions have been found (such as for example the famous Deutsche Bank report on nanotechnology published around 2002), in general financial sector actors prefer shorter time-to-profit investments, where they can recover their investments within a couple of years. It is important to understand the two basic drivers of the financial sector: risk and reward. Financiers seek to minimize risk, and maximize their reward. One basic approach to minimize risk is keeping the timeframe between making investments and harvesting the rewards of those investments as short as possible. Another risk management approach is to avoid high uncertainties about the impact of the investments made. Yet another is to ‘hedge’ your investment, by for example not only investing in one technology, but rather investing in a portfolio of technologies. That way, if one technology fails, you still have the other ones that might work. Maximizing reward often has drivers that are to some degree opposite to those that minimize risk. For example, an investment in a portfolio of technologies is less likely to fail completely, but also less likely to create a 1000% payback on investment. One should realize that all financial actors need to base their decisions on these basic values of risk and reward. Even semi-public or fully public investors need to review these two factors thoroughly and need to shape their investments in such a way that their risks are minimized and their rewards optimized. Having said that, big differences are observed between special-interest investors (such as perhaps regional development funds, or green funds, or specific technology funds) and pure-play financial gain investors (such as private banks, venture capital investors and some private investors). Science and technology in general present a risk to financial actors, because in general the assessment of the risk and the rewards is rather difficult. If a financier needs to judge an investment in a toll road, or


Interacting in your ecosystem

in an office building, then in most cases the ‘business case’ calculating the risks and rewards is fairly straightforward and uncertainties are easily identified (in the toll road: how many cars will pass per year; in the office building, what % of the building will be rented out and at what price per m2). When a financial actor needs to assess the attractiveness of an investment in a high tech science driven project or portfolio, things are more complicated. The balance between the investment target technology and competitive technologies is constantly changing and never really quantifiable. The money required to reach certain R&D milestones is based on estimates at best, with large error margins. And even if the technology is successfully developed, many steps must still be taken in order to convert such technology into a profit generating product or service. All these uncertainties are in general compounded in the nanotech and microtech arena: even higher uncertainties, wide ranges of competitive technologies, and very costly research in general. One should not be surprised to find that most enthusiastic nanotech investment funds raised in the mid nineties in the USA have since re-invented themselves as ‘cleantech’ or ‘e-mobility’ funds that invest closer to a specific market application of nanotechnology. Platform technologies are these days almost impossible to fund, as investors seek a very clear pathway from science to one or two large, attractive and stable market opportunities. RTC need to be aware of the basic drivers of financial sector actors, and need to engage with them in constant dialogue. Both worlds can learn from each other and can reduce each other’s risks as well. If RTC seek investors for the exploitation of research results, or if they seek investments to acquire costly research infrastructure, then they need to be prepared to answer the questions that a financier needs to ask, and they need also to understand what the investor needs. Dialogue with financial actors ideally should not be limited to top management only; also middle management and especially younger generation research talent can benefit tremendously from the fresh perspective that financial people can bring. The Western world still has tremendous amounts of capital, which can be mobilized to facilitate companies to build unique science-based capabilities that make them more competitive in the marketplace. However, this mobilisation requires RTC to see things from the fund manager perspective, and to strive pro-actively to minimize risk for investors while maximizing their chances of creating wealth for all.

63


64

PERFORMANCE INDICATORS AND R&D METRICS


Performance indicators and R&D metrics

Best practice management of any RTC needs also to define and measure performance indicators for individuals, for department and for the organisation as a whole. Indicators must be carefully chosen and defined, to indicate exactly what you want to measure. Like any indicator, the ones you choose will never be fully equal to the concepts that you are trying to get a grip on, but at least they should come as close as possible. Citation metrics Researchers and academic institutions are typically very focused on academic excellence, often measured by the number or importance of their academic publications. While the number of papers published and the number of citations are common ways to measure the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar, possibly the most popular citation metric is the “h-index”. This index, suggested by Jorge E. Hirsch, is based on the set of the scientist’s most cited papers and the number of citations that they have received in other people’s publications. The index can also be applied to the productivity and impact of a group of scientists, such as a department or university or country. Alternative versions of the h-index exist as well, trying to improve on the drawbacks of the original index.8 The h-index is a standard evaluation metric for several institutes and even for national research evaluation policies, as for example the national Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education (AERES) in France. Although citation metrics do represent a measure of the impact that the knowledge produced has on the world, they do not necessarily prove the success of a research centre in the market and therefore it is suggested they should be complemented with additional performance metrics.

8

http://www.harzing.com/pophelp/metrics.htm

65


66

CASE The Science Citation Index (SCI) is a citation index originally produced by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), now owned by Thomson Reuters. The expanded version covers more than 6,500 notable and significant journals, across 150 disciplines, from 1900 to the present. The index is made available online through the Web of Science database, a part of the Web of Knowledge collection of databases. The ISI publishes an online list of highly cited researchers (http://isihighlycited.com/). Inclusion in this list is taken as a measure of the esteem of these academics and is used, for example, by the Academic Ranking of World Universities by the Shanghai Jiaotong University.

What to measure and how Traditional R&D performance metrics (if any are in place) often measure the number or publications and patents, the percentage of patents to publications or the amount of funding the centre receives. These metrics often fail to capture the real value that the research centre produces and whether it is doing a good job. For example, the “percentage of patents to publications” might show if the research centre does not produce enough patents, but it does not provide insight whether the patents are actually licensed and used in profitable products. Important aspects to measure the performance of an RTC holistically are: • Tracking of project portfolio • Tracking of revenues and funding • Tracking of resources allocation and their return on investment • Productivity of processes and researchers Which are the right metrics depends greatly on what the definition is of success and this may vary from one centre to another. Each research centre should define and experiment with its own mix of metrics.


Performance indicators and R&D metrics

67

Examples of metrics that can indicate success are: • Strategic alignment of projects (average project relevance to strategy) • Number of patents licensed • Number of products (using the innovations of the centre) • Number of spin-offs (using the innovations of the centre) • Percentage of patents licensed/awarded • Revenues from patents licensing (as percent of total) • Revenues from spin-offs (as percent of total) • Revenues from EU/public funding (as percent of total) • Revenues from other sources (facility sharing, research or incubation services) • Return on Innovation (Revenues or profits/resources spent/ project) • Revenues from patents/resources spent for sustaining patents • ROI of licensed patents (incl. all resources invested) • ROI of spin-offs • Revenues or profits of the spin-offs Other metrics that can indicate productivity are: • Time to market (average duration of projects till patent-awarded, licensed, spinoff created, first sale) • Variance from estimated budget • Percentage of patents awarded/filed • Number of patents/researcher • Average revenues from patents/researcher • Average revenues from spin offs/researcher Using metrics can enable the research centre to understand itself better, what it is doing, what the results are and what it should improve. However it should be noted that metrics are a tool – obtaining better results in metrics should not become the absolute goal of the research centre. Research in fields like nanotechnology and microtechnology is full of dubious discoveries, unqualified results, questionable spending, and payoffs that are hard or impossible to measure in the primary steps of the process.

Further reading F. Zettelmeyer, J. R. Hauser: "Metrics to Evaluate R&D Groups", MIT Sloan School of Management (1995). "Product Development Metrics Survey", Goldense Group Inc. (2008).


68

References • nano4m Technology Transfer reports • nano4m RTC profiles • External documents: 1. Commission Recommendation on the management of intellectual property in knowledge transfer activities and Code of Practice for universities and other public research organisations (10.04.2008). 2. Communication from the commission: «Improving knowledge transfer between research institutions and industry across Europe: embracing open innovation» (4.4.2007). 3. Communication from the commission: «Preparing for our future: Developing a common strategy for key enabling technologies in the EU» (2009). 4. Nanoforum Report. May 2007. 5. W. B. Rouse, K. R. Boff: «Strategies for Value: Quality, Productivity, and Innovation in R&D/Technology Organizations» (2000). 6. F. Cesaroni, A. Di Mininand, A. Piccaluga: «New strategic goals and organizational solutions in large R&D labs: lessons from Centro Ricerche Fiat and Telecom Italia Lab», R&D Management 34, 1, (2004). 7. F. Zettelmeyer, J. R. Hauser: «Metrics to Evaluate R&D Groups», MIT Sloan School of Management (1995). 8. Product Development Metrics Survey, Goldense Group Inc. (2008). 9. F. Chiaromonte: «From R&D to strategic technology management: Evolution and perspectives» (2004).


Performance indicators and R&D metrics

Annex

Summaries of visits to nano4m RTC During the period from December 2010 to February 2011 Bax&Willems visited RTC partners of nano4m project. Below, summaries of interviews carried out are reproduced.

Centro de Investigaci贸n en Nanomateriales y Nanotecnolog铆as (CINN) CINN is a joint venture established in 2007 between the CSIC, the national research council in Spain, the Regional Government of Asturias and the University of Oviedo. It employs some 40 people. CINN consists of various research groups: one of about 20 people related to the CSIC and another of about 20 people related to the University of Oviedo. CINN is located in the Technology Park in Llanera, close to Oviedo, in one of the two sites of ITMA Materials Technology, a Technology Centre devoted to innovations based on new high-value materials and another one located in the Technology Park in Avil茅s. Both CINN and ITMA share the same director and also have a partial interlink in their research and development subjects. Both work on ceramic materials (especially nanostructured ceramics). However, the stage of research focussed on is different, with CINN focussing more on fundamental research exploring new scientific unknowns, and ITMA Materials Technology more tailored to work on the development of technologies towards an implementation in industry. In the nineties the first CSIC spin-off company was created by Ram贸n Torrecillas: Keratec (in collaboration with a Catalan ceramic company and private experts), then the second spin-off called Bioker Research was constituted in 2004 based on a successful project developed in an EU funded FP5). Both companies nowadays have their own installations, their own workforce and their own turnover and shareholders. From the experience of these two

69


70

spin-offs, combined with the experiences obtained in the negotiation of licensing or R&D collaboration deals over the last 20 years, CINN has acquired substantial knowledge and insights regarding IPR exploitation. It has concluded some key insights that may be valuable for other RTC: 1. Patent bundling should be seriously considered by research centres, in order to make their IP offering more attractive. This could in a first stage be limited to the IP owned by the RTC itself; however especially for smaller RTC it might be necessary to bundle the IP it owns with that of other RTC. 2. The focus on the number of patents applied for (or licensed out) per year as a key performance indicator for RTC, can lead to wasteful behaviour regarding the TT function. Patents may be applied for too soon, or with a too limited geographical (or claim) coverage, making later expansion difficult (only possible within a given timeframe after the national patent is awarded). Targeting a number of licence deals creates a drive for the TT function to provide licences in exchange for sometimes very limited compensations. 3. Large industrial companies may have a strong incentive to ‘shelve’ technologies protected by IP, with the aim of restricting the use of such IP by others, and thus allowing their own existing technologies to maintain strong positions in the market. This is not always a malicious process; it is only natural for a large actor in a market to value highly the existing technology position it may have, and to consider changing the technology only if very strong incentives are present. This sometimes leads to the situation where an RTC can best exploit its IP not by joining forces with incumbent players in a market, but rather by joining forces with challengers in those markets. If such challenges are absent, then one could consider creating a new company. 4. RTCs normally operate in a regional environment, for which they are expected to ‘invent’ and develop new technologies that can be applied in the existing industrial fabric of the region. However,


Performance indicators and R&D metrics

in some regions, the existing industrial fabric may have very severe challenges to maintain a competitive position (due to global trends or other macro-factors beyond their control). In such cases, the RTC might actually contribute more to the local economy if it facilitates the development of really new industrial activities that might have little to do with the existing industrial fabric of the region. 5. The creation of viable spin-offs with real business potential is often limited by the absence of an entrepreneurial champion that can build and run the company. Especially in high-tech areas the scientific background is equally as important as the entrepreneurial skills, requiring either the creation of tandem entrepreneurial teams or the development of scientific talent with a keen drive to develop into scientific business entrepreneurs. This latter ‘breed’ of scientists is still rare in Europe, and this rarity sometimes blocks viable businesses from being created and grown. 6. Within an RTC without very clear rules regarding ownership of IP (the distribution between the RTC and the researcher generating the IP) it becomes very difficult to create value from this IP. 7. Similarly, very clear rules need to be established regarding the avoidance of conflicts of interest between entrepreneurs/scientists that maintain their position in the research centre from which they spin off. The symbiosis between start-up company and RTC is often beneficial to both parties: the RTC can take advantage of the agility of the spin-off company while the spin-off company can make use of the scientific network and depth of science that the RTC offers. Thus such symbiotic relations can work out very well for both sides. The key issue is to have transparency in communications and between the various governance bodies that oversee both the functioning of the spin-off and the board that oversees the RTC. 8. The motto ‘who pays for the research, owns the IP’ can only be applied to a certain extent in cases where the RTC has created a large volume of proprietary knowledge on which the paid research

71


72

builds further. In such cases, the RTC should make clearly visible to the client the volume of the previous investments made by the RTC, and derived from that insight agree on a limited use licence to be granted to the paying client, rather than the full transfer of IP. If one does not value the ‘intellectual capital’ that the RTC puts into many of its contract research activities, then the RTC gradually erodes its own proprietary control over its IP and the exploitation of it. Presently, in 2010, CINN has developed detailed plans to create a full spin-off function that covers various aspects of successful spin-off incubation: strategy support, funding, IPR negotiation expertise and lab & office infrastructure. It seeks private and public investors that can inject the capital needed to grow existing spin-offs and create new ones, in return for a potential payback when revenues or company sales allow the return of the invested funds (plus interest).


Performance indicators and R&D metrics

Institut Jean Lamour (IJL) IJL is the result of a merger between five CNRS Labs (Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique) and actually located on three different sites (Ecole des Mines, Faculty of Sciences and Technologies and University of Metz). These five original organisations still each have to some degree authority over the strategic direction of the resulting IJL lab, and also physically they are still distributed over various buildings in and around Metz. Within a couple of years, the entire lab of 450 researchers and support staff will be moving into a new building. The traditional culture of IJL is very academic, with little attention to industrial applications, patents or industrial collaborations. However, some exceptions can be found, where researchers have reached globally competitive knowledge levels and have successfully secured interesting exploitation collaborations with leading industries. The IJL covers many disciplines that work partially on nano; this includes materials science, simulation, thin layers, opto-electronics, etc. Concrete devices where the IJL research can be applied include sensors or SAW (optical) devices. In the new IJL, a specific cell (VIT - Valorization Innovation & Transfer) will be created responsible for Technology Transfer including licensing and perhaps some spin-off incubation (although incubation is presently also done by the incubators of the universities of which the IJL is still part). The new IJL centre will also include quite unique research infrastructures such as a 40 metre long ultra-vacuum tunnel which will be one of the largest such tunnels in the world. The IJL has recently created five federative projects aiming to bring together researchers working from similar competences, allowing such competences to develop further, bundle knowledge and also to get researchers to explore possible multidisciplinary collaborations. The first impacts are now being noticed, however with the move to the new building this should work much better still. Concrete funding is offered to researchers that want to explore multidisciplinary collaborations; small sums (5-10k/year) but still sufficient to get some first initiatives going. The present core competences might be considered an intermediate step towards stronger bundling and integration of competences and application areas.

73


74

IJL has a financing structure that is perhaps typical for a research centre; it receives some 20-30% of the budget from the academic institutes to which it belongs, and some 70% comes from projects either financed by the government or (partially) paid by industrial clients. In the public funded projects industrial partners are also normally present. Typical important partners include Arcelor Mittal, St Gobain and SNR. The idea for the VIT is not unlike that for the Institute Lafayette; it will also have its own engineering facilities, its own engineering staff and support services. The subjects on which VIT aims to develop industrial applications are expected to be chosen by the IJL itself, the local government will not impose its policies. Subjects will be coordinated within the CNRS national network or research centres. IJL is already finding it difficult now to find sufficient people to perform the research work, and for this purpose is already contracting researchers from countries like Brazil or China. One concern for the successful operation of the VIT will be the required changes in the culture of the organization and the perceptions of the researchers. Presently researchers are mainly judged on the h-factor, which basically represents scientific excellence, while it does not at all take into account industrial collaborations or patents. In general, especially younger generations of researchers show quite a lot of interest in developing collaborations with industry but basic indicators also used to select projects to be funded are still highly focussed on academic excellence only. Also, patenting in the present structure is quite cumbersome, requiring several departments and units to each agree on a certain patenting approach. The decision making process for this can take up to two years, which simply needs to be drastically reduced. In addition, the flow of funds possibly generated by IPR licensing is not managed separately, eliminating the potential stimulus for patenting and exploitation activities by researchers. In typical cases researchers may receive 5-10% of the income generated by a patent, much less than the typical 25% that is quite normal in the USA. Also spin-off creation is presently managed by several units within several universities and other entities and for now results in just one spin-off every few years. Plans exist to concentrate all TT/VIT work in a private entity that would work for the entire cluster of regions in the East of France, but the future of these plans


Performance indicators and R&D metrics

is not yet certain. At the moment, those few created start-ups that spun off from IJL seem to survive, to attract some local or national funding, and to grow towards 5-10 people staff. The next step towards 50-200 employees has not yet been taken by any of these start-ups as far as is known by IJL. IJL concludes that Lorraine also has fewer investors compared to for example the Ile de France region. Regarding EU collaborations, IJL has a few, but should be able to attract more of them given their scientific excellence and future excellent infrastructure. In general, IJL considers that many aspects of its strategy and operations can be improved, but sees a clear sequence that starts with improving scientific excellence (as measured by the h-factor) and then focuses on developing derivative functions such as technology transfer, patenting, economic intelligence, investor relations, EU collaborations. Key success factors besides the obvious need for scientific excellence include also the implementation of a HR policy that values management

Institut Jean Lamour

75


76

functions (not only scientific work) which would allow people to take on managerial roles without sacrificing their careers, and a simplified governance model that avoids needing to obtain agreement from each of the five entities that co-own the IJL. Finally, IJL should probably dedicate more resources and methodology to a post-project quality control system, which would allow monitoring and managing the quality of the research outputs. In general it is considered that presently the lack of substantial capacity in support staff, that can facilitate creation and management of EU funded projects facilitate collaboration negotiations and such, slows down the researchers. In addition, the lack of a modern management information system creates inefficiencies that can be avoided. IJL highly values the continuous support by the region, which not only has been institutional but also in the shape of smaller funding grants to explore new areas.

Institut Jean Lamour


Performance indicators and R&D metrics

Fundación Prodintec Prodintec was created in 2004 with about 10 people on the payroll. Now, early 2011, it has 55 employees and around 4 million euro turnover. The incomes generated are mainly invoicing to companies for R&D projects and innovation services, and competitive subsidies for performing own projects (regional, national and European subsidies). For Prodintec, the motto ‘who pays for the research, owns the results’ applies fully. It does have activities that could be considered spin-off business from own proprietary investments and tools: the exploitation of the innovation management resource planning system called IDINet® which by now has 2500 users within tens of different R&D organisations (including industrial R&D departments of multinationals). This tool was developed in cooperation with a company (Futuver) and exploitation rights are shared between both organizations. Prodintec’s market is nowadays mainly regional industry (80%); the other 20% of its work is executed for clients outside Asturias, mainly at national level and in some specific cases also outside Spain. Anyway current work at international level is mainly performed through collaborative projects where Prodintec contributes as partner not as R&D provider. Prodintec’s areas of activity are horizontal to several sectors but strongly inspired by local industries present in Asturias: metal-mechanics industries, heavy machinery and capital goods among others. For these industries, Prodintec acts as an innovation enabler, helping companies to adopt new technologies that are not always new to the world, but which do result in improved competitiveness for the companies that adopt them. This can be new manufacturing technologies or new methods and tools for design or for improving company processes. Prodintec has also developed some technology areas perhaps more distant from its local client base: micromachining, micro-injection, additive manufacturing. However, even in these areas, some companies in the area have a keen interest, and could be the growth nuclei around which new industry (mini) clusters could be constructed.

77


78

Prodintec

Prodintec has institutionalized a strong, explicit technology-watching function and has also incorporated it into its IDINet® management system. The approach consists in appointing specific persons to screen a number of pre-defined sources for novelties of relevance to Prodintec or its clients. Such novelties are briefly described in the system as a note that is filed in the IDINet® system. The notes are accessible to all Prodintec employees, while those who indicate an interest can receive a notification that a new note has been created. Multidisciplinarity teams of projects are one of the strengths of Prodintec. It will be of special relevance for developing new microsystems (cooperation between micro-machining experts and electronics/software experts). Prodintec’s Strategic Plan is implemented by defining annual objectives that are broken down into departmental targets: number of R&D projects and innovation services, turnover, income categories… Also the degree of repeat business is measured as an indicator for client satisfaction. Choices regarding entry into new technology areas (often related to the investment in major research equipment) are agreed on by consensus in the management team of the organisation, which also receives input from all staff members (technology experts and technology watchers).


Performance indicators and R&D metrics

Center for Nanotechnology (CeNTech) CeNTech is a nanotech incubator/research lab that hosts 9 companies as well as 8 university research groups in one building that includes specific nanotech research infrastructure like cleanrooms, vibration-free foundations for metrology purposes, etc. CeNTech is managed by a small 4-people team, which besides the management of the facilities dedicate most of their time to the facilitation of IPR protection, the organisation of conferences like the NanoBio-Europe and leading a consortium that runs the € 2.64 million project NanoMicro+Materials. NRW cluster (www.nmw.nrw.de). Through lean management of the patent application process CeNTech is able to obtain patents at substantially lower costs than what could be considered industry average, mainly because they arrange a lot of the work to be done within CeNTech itself or by the scientists that have developed the invention, limiting the involvement of the patent attorney to those steps that really need to be done by such an attorney. CeNTech has also developed ‘lean’ strategies for the timing of patents and each step in the patenting process, allowing it to increase the time window for negotiations with potential financiers of patent expansions substantially. Patents are not only for exploitation by licensing or spin-offs, they also often represent an interesting basis to develop collaborative research with industries, they give status to researcher CV’s and they are relevant in the benchmarking of universities. The patent exploitation rules are quite clear in Germany; the inventor is entitled to 1/3 of the income generated (not even profits, just plain income), the remaining 70% is shared between CeNTech itself and the university (the latter as owner pays for the patenting costs). CeNTech has developed considerable experience also in managing IPR in collaborative R&D (best practice: always keep patent ownership and licensing in one single hand) and has so far applied for 24 patents since its creation in 2003. CeNTech is now planning construction of a second building (CeNTech II) which will house exclusively university research groups, and another building is planned across the street which will solely house high tech growth companies (NanoBioAnalytic Center). Yet another major centre for development of applications of stem cell research is planned to be constructed in the same campus with a total investment of € 80 million.

79


80

In all these cases, the original investment in building and infrastructure is financed by public funds (mostly a combination of local, regional, state and EU funds). The operation of the facilities is co-funded by the government too, but with the aim of making the operation cost-neutral within a certain timeframe. The operations are often also co-funded through specific projects like for example nano4m. CeNTech is primarily a facilitating entity; it does not fund research itself. As such, it cannot steer the research directions of the professors who in large part determine the scientific directions that they take themselves. A particular issue in nanotech research is that many professors have their networks within the nanotech arena, whereas most of the applications require relations with application sectors in which the researchers have no network. In the analytical sector matching with industry is straightforward, but for other areas an entity like CeNTech needs to explore such application sectors ‘from scratch’ which makes it much more difficult to enter into dialogue with the most attractive potential licensees or investors in a given technology application. In general CeNTech experience is that the establishment of industry collaborations is perhaps not the key challenge for professors/researchers who do excellent research; however the perhaps regionally more interesting next level of establishing a shared research lab with such industries on the CeNTech site is more difficult. One issue that CeNTech is looking into (and taking action on) is the connections between research disciplines, which can allow various research groups (either in the university, but also in various high-tech SMEs) to bundle their science in order to allow a complete solution to be offered to an industrial need. In the Münster region, the quintuple helix seems to be quite well established. Several seed fund sources are available. The government in close dialogue with industry has selected 5 spearhead areas (geoinformatics, nano/ bioanalytics, coatings, healthcare and electromobility). In each area, leading research is available, even though big industry is not present in the region and even SME industry is not strong in each of these spearhead areas.


Performance indicators and R&D metrics

CeNTech

81


82

MST.factory dortmund / TechnologieZentrumDortmund (TZDO) Dortmund in the 1990’s suffered a severe destruction of jobs: Thyssen-Krupp closed its local steel activities and large parts of the local beer breweries stopped operating in Dortmund, leaving 40.000 people unemployed. In a PPP between industry and local government the Dortmund Project was launched to seek new sectors for job creation and economic growth. The project identified some key strengths of the region to build upon: ICT (mainly within some universities), e-logistics (also related to the good location and connections of Dortmund) and microsystems (to which later nanosystems were added). Later also biomedicine was added as a growth vector. The MST sector had already grown as a cluster since the eighties, and became substantial in the nineties. Pioneer companies include ELMOS and Microparts (which is now incorporated into Boeringer Ingelheim). In general, a lot of MST applications are found in automotive; the incorporation of Microparts into BI focussed this particular MST player on the medical field (inhalers). The region has worked to provide all building blocks within MST to make the industry successful, including the development of technician education that provides properly qualified operators for the often complex machinery that MST requires. In 2002 it established also the MST.factory dortmund with a total investment of ₏ 50 million. The owner of the facility and the GmbH that operates it is the City of Dortmund; no university or any industry stakeholders have shares. Of the 50 million, some 23 million was invested in the building, the remaining 27 million in equipment. On top of that, a very lean management structure was implemented. MST.factory to date houses 13 companies; it does not have any university or other research groups in the same location. The main characteristic of MST.factory is its restrictive technological focus. The companies have varied origins, while some come from local (university spin-out) initiatives, others have been founded by Russian or Scandinavian entrepreneurs, attracted by the good conditions offered by MST.factory dortmund (a mix of hardware, basically existing of low cost access to advanced machinery and


Performance indicators and R&D metrics

MST.factory

multi-user equipment, and soft items such as coaching and networking). MST.factory originally met considerable resistance from existing local MST companies, which were concerned about the possibility that MST. factory dortmund could house direct competitors that could compete due to low cost (subsidized) operations. When MST. factory made clear that it only housed start-ups which are in pre-production phases, the resistance gave way to moderate receptiveness. The fact that the tenants of MST. factory dortmund pay for all costs made by the City of Dortmund for the MST.factory facilities through an all-in rent also helped to take away most reservations. Some of the companies housed in MST.factory were conceived through the ‘Start2grow’ business plan competition. Perhaps the key attraction for MST.factory tenants is the bundled, shared cost convenient access to infrastructure that is very hard to finance as a stand-alone start-up company. This fact is also appreciated by investors in these start-ups, which see the acceptance into the MST.factory facilities also

83


84

as a sign of viability of the enterprise. In all, MST.factory tenants have raised during the last 8 years some 50 million in private investments (as a rough guess), clearly showing the multiplier effect of the public investment. Recently the region has also begun to offer commercialisation training and coaching to growth stage companies. Quite specific for MST.factory dortmund is the absence of direct university ties, which has not hindered the progress of the companies incubated. It did perhaps lead to the open and pro-active policy of MST Factory to recruit tenants from outside the region, even outside Germany. MST. factory also believes that the absence of a university culture and institutions may help build trust in the high regard for confidentiality that companies have; some large industries have expressed concerns regarding confidentiality when interacting with universities or university-related bodies. One concern for MST.factory is the possibility for incubated companies to change their locations after the first incubation period, sometimes attracted by large investors (such as Rusnano which offer substantial venture capital with the prerequisite that the company locates substantial production activities in Russia) or by very attractive relocation offers from other regions within Germany. When such relocation happens, the core model of MST. factory dortmund (incubation of new high tech business in the Dortmund area in order to create high-tech jobs in the region) is undermined. MST. factory dortmund therefore is working hard to maintain an attractive offer to the incubated companies also after the incubation period.


Performance indicators and R&D metrics

Colorobbia / Agenzia per lo Sviluppo Empolese Valdelsa (ASEV) Colorobbia is a chemical industry group with some 2000 employees, some â‚Ź 300 million annual turnover, and some 35 locations in the world. It originates from the pigments business for glass and ceramics, and since around 1999 has invested in nanotech R&D through its research centre Cericol. The company is integrated vertically upstream, owning and exploiting several mines across the world. Through its research the company has applied for several patents that have applications in ceramics (the company core business), textiles, food, buildings, plastics, hyperthermal cancer treatment and air treatment. Inspired among other things by the need found in medical application development to collaborate with partners in that sector, Colorobbia adopted an Open Innovation strategy to develop applications in partnerships. When the local region issued plans to tender the construction, outfitting and exploitation of a nanotech research centre, the company joined forces with local government actors and with a network of some 45 universities specialized in materials science, Consorzio INSTM. Shortly, this consortium will present a bid to the local government tender, which it expects it can win due to the very strong partners involved. The staffing of the new lab will at least initially involve researchers that will stay on the payroll of each of the consortium partners, to be complemented at a later stage with proprietary staff, if and when funding is obtained to hire them. The proposed centre will generate income by competing for grants on the regional, national and European level and also by offering metrology services. It could in the future also establish a toxicity lab to ensure and certify safety of nano-enabled products.

85


86

Georgia Tech-Lorraine (GTL) Georgia Tech-Lorraine (GTL) has been operating since 1991 so for some 20 years. It started out as a pure education site, with students from the US and from Europe doing brief courses for a semester at the Lorraine campus. Later on, in 2006, research activities were added as a joint venture between Georgia Tech and CNRS, which by now are driven by some 7 senior people based in Lorraine, most of them having been transferred from Georgia Tech Atlanta. Today some of these 7 senior people together with some 7-8 support staff run research and education for some 45 postdocs, 25 PhD students, 125 Masters students and some 300 undergraduates per year. In the near future (2013) the educational and research activities will be complemented with the third column: that of exploitation of IPR and industrial collaborations. This will take shape in the Lafayette Institute (IL), which is now under construction. The Lafayette Institute will perform all kinds of Technology transfer functions for the Georgia Tech University as a whole. The function of the Lafayette Institute in Lorraine will be very similar to the function performed by the EI2 institute in Atlanta, one of the leading TT centres and incubators in the USA. The Lafayette Institute aims to bridge the gap between research (from the JV between CNRS and Georgia Tech, but also from Georgia Tech itself and from other CNRS labs) and industrial application. The IL will provide two elements to create this bridge: shared lab infrastructure and spaces that can accommodate mixed research & development teams and secondly supporting expertise, models, process facilitation to handle all aspects of the TT process efficiently. The focus of the IL will be on opto-electronics, fundamentally because in this specific research area the CNRS/GT joint venture already has world-class research and high-level industrial networks in place. The objective is to build an ecosystem for opto-electronics in Lorraine that can have global competitiveness and thus can also attract foreign investments. According to GT/CNRS in Lorraine, creating such an ecosystem not only requires good science and proper TT infrastructures; it also requires a welcoming climate for foreign investments including low taxes and ‘landing’ services.


Performance indicators and R&D metrics

Opto-electronics is an area that integrates a portfolio of nano, micro and macrotechnologies into devices that can be applied in many sectors such as energy, health, security and others. IL can also bundle IP of individual researchers in order to package it into an attractive bundle that industries would like to exploit. Optoelectronics exploit nano scale phenomena in various ways, and thus also need quite expensive and complex machinery and equipment to do research and development. Especially because of these needs, it is an attractive area to create an TT centre around, as the TT centre can make such infrastructure available to teams in a shared cost model, allowing top-notch R&D to be done without the need to invest for one single team in all the lab infrastructure you really need. IL does not intend to oblige any researcher to work through them; in fact

87

Georgia Tech-Lorraine


88

the governance structure of IL makes it totally independent from university or research centre (or individual industry) policies. Researchers are free to work with IL or not. Here, the GT/CNRS JV has some experience also in the differences in culture of scientists. In the USA researchers are highly ambitious, and will work very long hours to make a certain vision come true. In France, researchers seem a little bit more relaxed in their job interpretation, which sometimes just makes the difference between achieving leadership positions or not. IL also will have a role as liaison with investors from the financial sector. In general, the experience at GTL is that such investors are not looking for nanotech investments; they are seeking solutions to widespread problems in large markets that can generate substantial turnover at very good margins. Thus, GTL is keen to phrase its projects in terms of solutions for markets rather than in why and how nanotechnology is being used to reach a certain system or device performance.


Performance indicators and R&D metrics

Project abstract nano4m - Nanotechnology for Market - is a project funded by INTERREG IVC which involves four regions and twelve partners in Tuscany (Italy), North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), Lorraine (France) and Asturias (Spain). Each region is represented by a Regional or Local Authority and one or two Research and Technology Centres. nano4m began in October 2008 and will end in December 2011. The total budget is € 1,845,892 with an ERDF contribution of € 1,384,419. nano4m aims at improving strategies and building networks to design nanotechnology for market with the following objectives: • To test new Research-to-Market (R2M) processes at regional level in order to accelerate technology transfer • To increase the competitiveness of regional innovation infrastructures across Europe. • To improve the efficiency of regional innovation policies.

89


For additional information please visit www.nano4m.eu


The Partnership 5 Regional/Local Authorities Instituto de Desarrollo Económico del Principado de Asturias IDEPA (Lead Partner) www.idepa.es Conseil Régional de Lorraine www.lorraine.eu Stadt Dortmund www.wirtschaftsfoerderung-dortmund.de Technologieförderung Münster GmbH www.technologiefoerderung-muenster.de Circondario Empolese Valdelsa www.empolese-valdelsa.it

7 Research and Technological Centres Centro de Investigación en Nanomateriales y Nanotecnología CINN-CSIC www.cinn.es Fundación PRODINTEC www.prodintec.com UMI GeorgiaTech-CNRS www.georgiatech-metz.fr Institut Jean Lamour www.ijl.nancy-universite.fr TechnologieZentrumDortmund Management GmbH (TZDO) www.tzdo.de CeNTech GmbH www.centech.de Agenzia per lo Sviluppo Empolese Valdelsa www.asev.it


Acronyms and abbreviations used in this publication

3D Three-dimensional AERES Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education ASEV Agenzia per lo Sviluppo Empolese Valdelsa BCDF Baseline Configuration Data Files CEN

Committee for Standardization

CFR

Fiat Research Centre

CINN

Centro de Investigaci贸n en Nanomateriales y Nanotecnolog铆as

CNRS Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique CM

Configuration Management

CNT

Carbon Nanotube

CSIC

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cient铆ficas

CTO

Chief Technology Officer

CV

Curriculum Vitae

DMD

Digital Micromirror Devices

DLP

Digital Light Processor

ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning

ETP

European Technology Platform

FP

Framework Programme

GT

Georgia Tech

GTL

Georgia Tech-Lorraine

HR

Human Resources

HSE

Health, Safety and Environmental Issues

ICT

Information and Communication Technology

IJL

Institut Jean Lamour

IL

Institute Lafayette

IP

Intellectual Property

IPR

Intellectual Property Rights

ISI

Institute for Scientific Information

ITMA Instituto Tecnol贸gico de Materiales JV

Joint Venture

LRM

Light Modulators

MEMs Microelectromechanical Systems MST

Microsystems Technology

NDA

Non-disclosure Agreement

PPP

Public Private Partnership

R&D

Research and Development

R&T

Research and Technology

RTC

Research and Technology Centre(s)

RTD

Research and Technological Development

SAW

Surface Acoustic Waves

SCI

Science Citation Index

SME

Small and Medium size Enterprise

TT

Technology Transfer

TZDO TechnologieZentrumDortmund VIT

Valorization Innovation & Transfer


edit Instituto de Desarrollo Económico del Principado de Asturias (IDEPA) co-financed by the european regional development fund and made possible by the interreg ivc programme

European Unı•on European Regional Development Fund

designed by Pandiella y Ocio (Oviedo, Spain) / printed by Gráficas Apel (Gijón, Spain) / legal deposit: AS-3186/2011


GUIDELINES FOR NANOTECHNOLOGY AND MICROTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY CENTRES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF MARKET-ORIENTED STRATEGIES

GUIDELINES FOR NANOTECHNOLOGY AND MICROTECHNOLOGY

RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY CENTRES

FOR IMPROVEMENT OF MARKET-ORIENTED

STRATEGIES

European Union European Regional Development Fund CO-FINANCED BY THE EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND AND MADE POSSIBLE BY THE INTERREG IVC PROGRAMME

Idepa directrices cubierta plata.indd 1

08/06/11 00:31

Profile for Jasón Martínez

Guidelines  

Guidelines for nanotechnology and microtechnology research and technology centres for improvement of market-oriented strategies

Guidelines  

Guidelines for nanotechnology and microtechnology research and technology centres for improvement of market-oriented strategies

Profile for nano4m
Advertisement