RECOMMENDATIONS INTENDED FOR REGIONAL AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES in order to improve regional strategies of transfer in the fields of micro and nanotechnology Synthesis of the nano4m Think Tank September 2011
Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and made possible by the INTERREG IVC Programme
Acronyms and abbreviations used in this publication ASEV Agenzia per lo Sviluppo Empolese Valdelsa AME
Economic Mobilisation Agency
CSIC Consejo Superior de Investigaciones CientĂficas ERA European Research Area ERC
European Research Council
National Research Funds
Intellectual Property Rights
European Micro and Nano Technology
MST Microsystems Technology NRW
Public Private Partnership
Technological & Scientific Research Pole
Research and Technology Centre(s)
Research and Development
Scientific and Technological
Small and Medium size Enterprise
SWOT Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
RECOMMENDATIONS INTENDED FOR REGIONAL IN ORDER TO IMPROVE REGIONAL STRATEGIES OF TRANSFER IN THE FIELDS OF MICRO AND NANOTECHNOLOGY Synthesis of the nano4m Think Tank
4 Delegates attending the nano4m Think Tank 5 INTRODUCTION 6 TOPIC 1 – STRATEGY – CORE ISSUES 6 Do policy makers think that different policies, such as promotion (regional, industry, science…) and legislation (health, environment…), require wider coordination around the common topic of Nano Micro technologies? Which specific measures regarding RTCs could be implemented? 7 How can policies promote the RTCs’ raising of market orientation to a strategic level? Could policy makers and RTCs agree on, for example, priority markets? 8 TOPIC 2 – PEOPLE 8 How could policies encourage researchers to pursue market-oriented results while preserving science quality?
8 Could key international opinion leaders be appointed as experts to examine (i.e. peer-review) proposals for funding? 8 What other policy tools could make market orientation be perceived by researchers? 9 Can international talent attraction be promoted as a factor to increase high technical specialization and market orientation?
9 TOPIC 3 - VALORIZATION AND EXPLOITATION/KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER TOOLS 9 In order to increase specialization and bring research closer to market, could public funding of R&D projects reward initiatives such as the extension of the research up to the proof of concept, to the analysis of the value chain or to road mapping?
10 Could policy makers consider defining a kind of scoreboard for measuring the international market orientation of RTCs? 10 Could tailored funding programs be offered to RTCs providing that the RTC strategic objectives meet the scoreboard, instead of funding individual projects? 11 TOPIC 4 - COOPERATION 11 Can we affirm that international RTC clustering around a sector increases the interest of the industry for R&D results? What barriers do policy makers observe in such a kind of proposals? 11 Which specific activities of international cooperation between RTCs, such as sharing facilities, staff or IPRs, could be promoted because of their effect on increasing the interest of industry for R&D results? 12 Could regions launch international joint calls addressed to RTCs? 12 TOPIC 5 - OTHER INTERACTIONS WITH THE ECOSYSTEM/PPP 12 What kind of policies can be adopted to increase the interest of the financial sector in Nano and Micro technology? 13 Is there any other kind of public-private-partnerships (PPPs) that could foster the industrialization of Nano Micro research results? 13 Could some specific Open Innovation approaches, like living labs, innovation ecosystem or others, be launched to facilitate the social understanding of the Nano Micro research results? 14 nano4m project abstract 15 The Partnership
Delegates attending the nano4m Think Tank Regional & local representatives
Mr. Christophe CHOSEROT Region Lorraine councillor, delegate to Higher Education
Mr. Jean-Pierre THOMESSE DRRT Lorraine (Regional Delegate for Research
and Technology) At the regional level, the DRRT represents the Ministry for Higher Education and Research of the French State. This service is complementary to the Department for Higher Education and Research of the Regional Council of Lorraine. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Albino CAPORALE Regional Delegate Regione Toscana
Mrs. Grazia ROSSI Circondario Empolese Valdelsa Project Manager
Mrs. Claudia KEIDIES City of Dortmund, Head Cluster Unit
Mr. Holger WINTER CeNTech GmbH - Representative of the City of MĂźnster, Chief Scientific Officer
Mr. Harald CREMER NanoMicro+New Materials Cluster North Rhine-Westphalia Expert Land NRW, Clustermanager
email@example.com Mrs. Cecilia HERNĂ NDEZ Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), Head of Biotechnology, Health and Agri-food Department. firstname.lastname@example.org External guests Mr. Arnaud DUBAN Luxinnovation Senior Project Manager, Head of Technology Transfer & SME Advisory Services LUXINNOVATION GIE (National Agency for Innovation and Research) email@example.com Mr. Pierre BOURGOGNE Technopolis Group firstname.lastname@example.org
RECOMMENDATIONS INTENDED FOR REGIONAL IN ORDER TO IMPROVE REGIONAL STRATEGIES OF TRANSFER IN THE FIELDS OF MICRO AND NANOTECHNOLOGY Synthesis of the nano4m Think Tank
This document is a work of synthesis of contributions gathered through the interviews of nano4m think tank participants, prior to the think tank meeting and from the direct discussions that took place on June, 15th 2011 at the Hôtel de Region Lorraine, Metz, France. The document follows the five main topics and corresponding questions that were extracted by the nano4m partners from past project activities to deal with the issues of how policy makers can help RTCs and their innovation environment to have better scientific and economical results with added-value in the field of micro and nanotechnologies. General context Time scale: Implementing a synergy between the different worlds of RTCs, companies and politics needs first to take into account that, when economic development activities are concerned, the question of time scale is important. For a researcher, the horizon of his/her investigations is 10 to 15 years; for the board of a large company, the horizon of technology and return on investments is 3 to 6 years; for an SME, it is 6 to 12 months. For politicians, the horizon can be the next election but not only. Different levels of power at regional level depending on the Member State organization and its level of federalism/centralism: Low decentralized organization means regional policy makers are marginal players for the R&D system. A high level of federal organization makes it possible for regional policies to be developed at regional level. This situation gives them ample freedom to experiment and choose markets. And they can in that way focus on very sharply defined domains in which the local market may be interested, but it means at least two things: first that the decision making process must be clear and persuasive to reach good levels of PPP; secondly, the decision making process must be carried out thoroughly not lead to a process of thin dispersal. Identified Practices: taking experience from other territories It may be useful to point out that identified practices without a qualitative appreciation can be seen as a good practice in a region/ country in a certain domain, but could become the worst practice in other situations and other environments. So when identifying interesting practices, it is better to clarify specific local details, depict the main characteristics of the practice and see if it is possible to learn and adapt it to a territory’s own situation. How to use the recommendations: Each regional/local authority can find in this document relevant recommendations in order to improve its research and innovation system in the fields of micro and nanotechnologies. Furthermore, each territory extracts relevant ideas to be implemented locally and organize decision-makers meetings locally, where they would present consistent proposals for policy implementation.
TOPIC 1 Strategy - Core issues
on industrial issues, could work on public communication, lobbying at national and European level for more coordination and standardization, and foster better technological transfer.
Do policy makers think that different policies, such as promotion (regional, industry, science…) and legislation (health, environment…), require wider coordination around the common topic of Nano Micro technologies? Which specific measures regarding RTCs could be implemented?
Territorial policy makers have to achieve a broad view of the role of each legitimate actor in the local innovation system and ensure roles are rightfully described and respected without gaps or overlaps. Specifically speaking about RTCs, policy makers can look at what the connections are between RTCs and their environment (City, Region or Land, agencies, companies, consultants) and help them to develop a better synergy with the other actors.
Generally speaking, for nano4m participants and those people attending the think tank, local innovation systems focusing on nanotechnologies show many actors taking part in technological innovation processes: RTCs, technological transfer agencies, specific public policy maker units and companies implementing collaborative projects with public research centres. Coordination of these different stakeholders to generate competitive industrial output and comprehensive dissemination should be part of the duty of policy makers.
P For instance, among other things the Alliance for Science at the City of Münster (members from science, business and the city are cooperating for the expansion of Münster as a science and business location) is seeking public and private investments in the field of nanotechnology and coordinates the strategy for further regional development within the area of nanotechnology.
Nanotechnologies could be considered dangerous in Spain as it is starting to be considered in France, Germany, Italy, Finland, Norway, Holland, Denmark and other territories where its industrial applications is more extended. For instance, in Germany certain areas of nanotechnology, in particular nanoparticles, are regarded as hazardous. If some fears are relevant, it seems communication and dissemination coordination still needs some improvement, with a close approach to research advances and technological demonstrations. There is thus a need for better coordination between research advancement, broad and public communication of results, focusing on transparency, and at the same time some legal and standardization work at regional, national and European levels.
Another example is the regional network Der Innovationsstandort e.V. in Dortmund that builds bridges for the gap between science and economy.
Territory policy makers do not always have legislative powers but they can help raise to national or European level the legislative or standard issues that local RTCs and innovation actors encounter. They can also help with lobbying for complementary financial efforts as regards the local innovation strategy. P As far as infrastructures are concerned, some territories such as Asturias (Spain) or City of Münster (Germany) have already invested in strong micro and nanotechnology infrastructures and equipment, building a consortium that brings together technological and scientific infrastructures from regional and national level. From the Spanish point of view coordination throughout the value chain should be completed by territorial coordination to optimize the usage of nanotech research resources. From the German point of view, investment in infrastructures like the MST. factory in Dortmund can happen when the regional and local innovation and S&T strengths have been identified and acknowledged by all actors, especially with a view to fostering entrepreneurship.
Generally speaking, scientific culture, including the capacity to analyze strategic technological pros and cons with less emotional interference, should be passed on to public society through political measures, associating RTCs for concrete demonstrations. This coordination between research, innovation activities and public dissemination could focus on health issues, industrial issues (for economic growth and employment) and environment issues. Local nanosciences networks or platforms gathering all value chain stakeholders, already working
RECOMMENDATIONS INTENDED FOR REGIONAL IN ORDER TO IMPROVE REGIONAL STRATEGIES OF TRANSFER IN THE FIELDS OF MICRO AND NANOTECHNOLOGY Synthesis of the nano4m Think Tank
How can policies promote the RTCs’ raising of market orientation to a strategic level? Could policy makers and RTCs agree on, for example, priority markets?
P A good example of agreement on priority markets including RTCs is the National Research Funds (FNR) Foresight in Luxembourg. The Foresight Exercise is aimed at identifying national research priorities in the public sector with socioeconomic interest for Luxembourg society. It was based on a close involvement of stakeholders from the research community, society, and the economy of Luxembourg as well as a number of international experts. The Foresight Exercise was not designed as a “winner takes all” competition between research domains: all research domains currently investigated in Luxembourg will continue to receive at least the present level of financial support. Nonetheless, especially in a small territory with limited human and financial resources, prioritization is essential. For only through prioritization can resources be sufficiently focused to enable internationally competitive cutting-edge research. The FNR Core Programme has been focused since 2008, in terms of market priority, on orientation in integrating nanotechnologies into daily life, with sustainable issues: photovoltaic, water purification, barrier coating or self-healing properties.
Policies could help RTCs to raise market orientation at a strategic level by fostering and training these organizations to include technological innovation roadmaps, and different tools that could give a vision of the different steps from research outcomes to potential markets (including SWOT analysis). This could generate the opportunity to identify the different territorial potentialities, and help coordinate the advances of nanotechnologies towards identified markets. However, this requires identifying the local S&T strengths and local companies, as well as the bottleneck and barriers to market development. P Experiences such as the CÉNIT Spanish project generating strong collaboration between RTCs and companies have allowed, on the one hand, a market orientation of the results, and on the other hand, more confidence in the RTCs from companies, with the establishment of long lasting collaborations.
Also, the French competitiveness clusters (such as Materalia, Fibres or Hydreos on water quality, present in Region Lorraine), under the supervision of a national inter-ministerial Committee1, by defining market oriented priority sectors are instances where territories, State, research actors and industries agreed on market priorities.
In a similar way, Tuscany, Italy, has initiated innovation clusters, composed of universities, service centres, RTCs and companies. They specifically have a nanotechnology centre, focusing on a hundred nanotech topics, led and coordinated by ASEV, which is important for technology transfer towards the local economy.
It has also been recommended that an RTC could have strong industry participation on their advisory board. They may also take strong steps such as hiring industrial technicians to guide them and to connect them to industry partners issued from the markets of interest. This requires however a first identification of the innovation roadmap. 1
Comité interministériel d‘aménagement et de développement du territoire (CIADT)
TOPIC 2 People
Could key international opinion leaders be appointed as experts to examine (i.e. peer-review) proposals for funding? Technical projects should be evaluated by technical experts, but the priorities and some of the criteria should be established by the politicians.
How could policies encourage researchers to pursue market-oriented results while preserving science quality?
P International experts can be mobilised as evaluators of projects. For instance, Region Lorraine already asks for experts to evaluate PRST projects. This will also be done for the Interregional Research Fund (S&T cooperation between Lorraine and Luxembourg). This could be reused in an evaluation framework for transfer projects. However, it could be relevant to match technical and non-technical evaluation (for instance S&T experts and market experts).
Vision as regards market and industrial outcomes is a question of culture, and generally RTC researchers do not have it. It is the role of policy makers to try to induce a part of this culture among researchers, helping them to have better collaborative relations with industries or technological innovation actors. In order to encourage researchers to pursue marketoriented results, several aspects can be considered: • It could be implemented through awareness actions among researchers, like in North-Rhine Westphalia with “sustainable real estate”.
Also, the independence of the technical experts should really be verified during each evaluation process. Collective exercises between non-independent experts could help neutralise the individual interests.
• The issue of technology transfer should be tackled among university students, so that upcoming researchers have this culture in mind.
What other policy tools could make market orientation be perceived by researchers?
• Research careers should take into account other indicators than only publications (patents for instance, number of collaborations with industries).
With regards to other policies helping researchers to perceive market orientation, it seems relevant to build better “transfer teams” in order to identify patent ideas and collect market information for nano and micro technologies. These people could better monitor and detect ideas, marketable technologies and have a right to investigate researchers’ results, since they are not owners of the intellectual property. Training by these technological transfer experts aimed at researchers could make market orientation aspects be perceived by researchers.
Also, researchers can be stimulated into creating spin off when the business model linked to a scientific finding seems particularly important and interesting. P For instance, Tuscany is developing a large number of university entrepreneurships with excellent incubators, and is the second Italian region for the number of spin-offs. Region Lorraine supports research transfer efforts through the valorisation Funds and fundamental research quality through the Technological & Scientific Research Pole (PRST), where market openness is fostered.
P In the Lorraine Regional Innovation Strategy (axis 3), it is expected that a prospective committee will be created as well as an innovation observatory. Also in Germany, at state level, some round tables or think tanks are organized by the NRW government, the Association of German Engineers2 and the Cluster NanoMicroMaterials. NRW between technology specialists/experts and companies (small and large companies). They do not define roadmaps but it helps to give some main S&T and market orientations.
RTCs can also hire scientists who fit into the innovation system, but finding professors connected with industry can be somewhat tricky. It is also difficult force someone to do specific applied research without their consent. Innovation culture or help with specific funding are the two topics to be studied by policy makers to foster a more marketoriented vision among researchers.
Verein Deutscher Ingenieure
TOPIC 3 Valorization and exploitation/knowledge transfer tools
Can international talent attraction be promoted as a factor to increase high technical specialization and market orientation? Most think tank territories have implemented or will implement political strategies to attract scientific elite with high-level research topics corresponding to the local technological and innovation strategy.
In order to increase specialization and bring research closer to market, could public funding of R&D projects reward initiatives such as the extension of the research up to the proof of concept, to the analysis of the value chain or to road mapping?
P In Spain, there is a National Innovation Strategy, structured around five axes, one of them focusing on “people”, which aims to incorporate qualified people in companies. Region Lorraine is also launching a funding programme for international research excellence (with a total budget of 700 K€), to attract a key international researcher who will develop the local scientific potential, helping to generate the required environment for technological transfer.
Think Tank participants agreed that public funding of R&D projects should reward initiatives such as the extension of the research up to the proof of concept, to the analysis of the value chain or to road mapping. Local or national programmes already fund such activities in some territories. It has however been noted that researchers and industry experts should work side by side, to complement researchers’ expertise.
However, the attraction of international talents highly depends on the attraction of the region in itself (including its climate, reputation, etc.) and specifically the investments in high-level infrastructures that will guarantee to elite researchers that they will have the means to pursue their investigation activities.
P For instance in Lorraine, Regional Valorisation Funds for Research Transfer exist (S&T studies, prototyping, market studies, and industrial property), as well as the Economic Mobilisation Agency (AME) that funds collaborative projects between laboratories and SMEs for future territorial technological sectors.
P For instance, universities in Germany, in accordance with local strategies, have substantial responsibility for attracting top researchers. They develop specific packages including grants, access to outstanding infrastructures and specific university courses. Top researchers can obtain their own funding and they are very well integrated in the innovation system. The private framework for excellence researchers is supported with welcome packages including for example double career support for their partners.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, they particularly encourage this orientation to market through the publication of calls for funding, where they notably award projects taking the market issue into account.
For emerging technologies with a long term horizon, it is also important to support the demonstration phases (even if as in the case of nano-technologies, nano-products are already present in mass markets), which is really important to understand the potentials in real situations of processes/products/services-to-be and make them credible and have data to generate business models and also communicate with users and citizens. This means a wide co-operation of competences between R&D performers, integrators, and financers.
Attracting talents means also sharing knowledge, and this must be accompanied with a strong sense of information security as a collective policy of research organizations and as individual behaviours. Finally, it has been recommended to form partnerships with internationally known research institutions that have a strong technological transfer background. Attracting talents does not happen by itself, without effort: long term and close partnerships with other international research centres have to be set up and maintained, with specific communication on the advantages of the local innovation environment.
P As an international example, we can refer to the American Defense Advanced Research
Could tailored funding programs be offered to RTCs providing that the RTC strategic objectives meet the scoreboard, instead of funding individual projects?
Projects Agency, which funds multistage grants. Stage 1 is typically a theoretical analysis, Stage 2 consists of experimental results, and Stage 3 requires the building of a prototype. The grant related to the next stage requires suitable results in the previous stage. Similar results can also be obtained by creation of extension grants, where funded projects can be continued with industry partners, for example.
Funding of RTCs varies from one country to another, but funding on the basis of sole scoreboards when it is not clear how it is defined, is not certain. P In Spain, RTCs are already funded by the regions or the central government. They have their own public budget and can access the Prize of Excellence which is given every year to best RTCs. More direct funding for specific RTCs could be seen as potentially limiting the flexibility that funding per project could provide.
Could policy makers consider defining a kind of scoreboard for measuring the international market orientation of RTCs? Generally speaking, such scoreboards at RTC or territorial level are not always implemented, but think tank participants and policy makers are eager to define metrics and criteria that could help have a better vision and understanding of how research actors include international market orientation aspects in their strategy. P Tuscany is starting work on this subject with local clusters in order to evaluate the market orientation performance of local research.
The Lorraine regional innovation strategy document defines as well some metrics that need to be developed in greater depth and validated. Also, it could be part of a forthcoming regional innovation observatory.
The innovation scoreboard system has to be multi-criteria oriented, taking into account the standardisation of the processes of technological transfer, economic and financial results and output from the relations with local and international companies.
Priority sectors have already been defined at Lorraine regional level (aeronautics, forestry, chemistry, agriculture & food, automobile, as well as clusters for materials, fibres, water management, etc.). These specific fundings have to complete individual projects that could create tomorrowâ€™s priority if all success thresholds are passed.
In order to measure the quality of technology clusters, Hungary policy makers (not represented in the Think Tank but quoted by representatives of City of Dortmund) have designed a system where innovation clusters (including RTCs) are evaluated and tested before they receive public funding, the amount of this funding depending on their results.
When the question is about acceleration of time-to-market of innovations, calls and funding should encourage and support multidisciplinary teams, clusters or consortia to have an integrated action plan. The question remains: who does the evaluation? what is the method linked to the PEOPLE topics and international expert issues? This could however help to generate a mapping of innovative projects at territory level.
It has been noted however that such scoreboards should be defined in relation to markets and application sectors, and not in general a nanotechnology. Also, it has been commented that such scoreboards should not place an RTC alone against market orientation and specific applications but replace it into the local innovation system. Specific scoreboards could be integrated into a wider framework to analyse the capacity of the innovation system (and thus other private and public actors) to move towards market orientation.
TOPIC 4 Cooperation
Some international cooperation like the European Network of Excellence have been good to find synergies, and good to strengthen knowledge. However, legal problems have limited the objectives established of real integration.
Can we affirm that international RTC clustering around a sector increases the interest of the industry for R&D results? What barriers do policy makers observe in such a kind of proposals?
Which specific activities of international cooperation between RTCs, such as sharing facilities, staff or IPRs, could be promoted because of their effect on increasing the interest of industry for R&D results?
International RTC clustering around a sector clearly increases its visibility and RTC competitiveness, therefore, the power of local industry when the innovation system works properly. It generally attracts big players and large companies.
The best international cooperation activities between RTCs are collaborative projects and transfers of personnel between academia and industry, but always in the context of a clear project with previously defined objectives. These sharing activities are also a way to understand how an efficient RTC innovation environment operates and learn from it.
P Decision makers can support these partnerships through funding and institutional support, for instance at the Lorraine level, through the Grande Region (Wallonie, Luxembourg, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland, Lorraine).
P Infrastructures as well as personal sharing programmes already exist (Marie Curie, ERC grants) as well as Eurêka clusters.
Barriers to these activities are however still strong. The Think Tank managed to list some of them: • Industrial protection and information security have to be correctly implemented to prevent leaks and loss of competitiveness; also different laws on standards and protection in each country in Europe and in the world make effective international cooperation difficult. Also attracting international industry requires strong industrial protection and a technological roadmap which is very expensive and not always sufficiently supported by decision makers for RTCs and associated innovation agencies. Industry does not want to take the risk of investing in patents if market usage is not certain.
However, RTCs could more frequently take with them more SMEs when joining cooperative networks.
• International clustering requires also that RTCs identify correctly and precisely their specific knowledge, know-how, skills and possible application sectors. An RTC can then communicate on its strengths and specialities and does not see other RTCs as competitors. Each RTC is then visible within its defined sector of responsibility.
Attracting industry through international cooperation and resource sharing also leads to the question of mastering strategic information where it is important to identify and anticipate the best usages, the best actor connections, concepts or best applications (depending on academic or business points of view). Many tools can be developed such as detection of weak signals that would help specialists explore potential market niches, observation of the key players in a specific domain (technology, finance, organization, market, standards, etc.), biblio-metric analysis of publications and citations of patents/IP agreements, analysis of business models, benchmarking exercises, and so on.
It is good for territory networks to mutualise infrastructures, personnel and services such as intellectual property agreements, or technological and economic monitoring. However, as pointed out above regarding international clustering, industrial protection, information security and a clear view of the usage and technological roadmap are extremely important to attract more industry interests.
• Such cooperation is generally less effective with SMEs, because they have only little time at their disposal for this kind of activity, except when they are associated with researchers and/or are startups.
TOPIC 5 Other interactions with the ecosystem/PPP
Could regions launch international joint calls addressed to RTCs? P This is already the case under the ERA-NET MNT project. MNT-ERA.NET is a large network of European Micro and Nano Technology (MNT) support programmes. It was launched in 2004 and for five years (2004-2008) it ran under the ERA-NET scheme of the 6th EU Framework Programme. It is continuing its activities under the 7th EU Framework Programme until 2011. It comprises 21 European countries and regions, all represented by national and regional ministries or funding agencies. It is offering annual Transnational Calls for collaborative projects, reflecting the needs and challenges identified by the European R&D community. This approach should be widely disseminated towards the researchersâ€™ community.
What kind of policies can be adopted to increase the interest of the financial sector in Nano and Micro technology? As noticed by some of nano4m partners, international markets show interest in RTCs with high technical specialization in certain Nano Micro technologies. This specialization usually entails a specific mix of knowledge, transfer tools or the extension of the scope of their activity along the value chain. However, it is always very difficult to attract the financial sector since they do not like risks and they take into account that high-tech such as nanotechnologies requires a lot of investments for high risks and still uncertain business models.
However, not all European regions are part of the MNT ERA-net; its geographical coverage could be spread out to other territories. Moreover other ERA-NETs, such as MANUNET and MERANET (coming soon/about to be approved), in which Asturias participates, are also good platforms to launch international joint calls related to nano and micro technologies. We advise that these schemes be implemented offering a wide support to RTCs joint projects.
The main question for investors is certainly the visibility of public support and its sustainability. Nothing is worse for investors than an uncertain legal/political future (e.g. the French governmentâ€™s recent decision to modify drastically the conditions of the developing electro-solar market). In a controversial area such as nanotechnology and nanosciences, scientists should communicate, with the help of policy makers and innovation actors, on safety and certainties, on social and environmental impact of research in order to attract investors. Also business success stories of successful spin-offs issued from local research outcomes are a good way to attract more investors â€“ business models have to be strengthened.
Also an Interregional Research Funding programme should be launched this year by the Region Lorraine and National Fund for Research, mainly on fundamental research but also with some economic and market orientation. The AME is studying the possibility of gathering with its call for proposals, partners from the Grande Region as well as with the Russian Oblast of Tomsk.
P Information and communication policies could be developed on nano-technologies. A confident population could better understand technologies and generate new needs, with better results for industrialisation and marketing. M. Jean-Yves LE DEAUT, 1st Vice-president to the Lorraine Region and Deputy, is leading a parliamentary mission on Innovation put to the test of fears and risks. This type of report could reassure public opinion and investors.
Existing Corporate Ventures have been cited by Think Tank participants such as the French
Could some specific Open Innovation approaches, like living labs, innovation ecosystem or others, be launched to facilitate the social understanding of the Nano Micro research results?
venture fund of the Research and Higher and Education Ministry, the Lorraine Material funds that gathers public and private partners to invest in start-ups that deal with materials in general.
P Open Innovation initiatives are to be fostered such as Georgiatech living lab with PSA (Peugeot-Citroën) in Region Lorraine or the techno-dating (technological meeting) organised by the French Fibres cluster, where research results are presented and demonstrated to industry actors.
Also in the City of Dortmund, they have had since 2005 a Venture Capital fund, through which they invest in SMEs of the micro and nano technology and biotechnology areas. This initiative has proved to be successful, and many firms have grown thanks to it.
Is there any other kind of public-private-partnerships (PPPs) that could foster the industrialization of Nano Micro research results?
As far as the social understanding of the nano and micro research results is concerned, a specific communication towards citizens seems to be a relevant tool. Society concerns about the use of Nanomaterials are one of the most important barriers to the commercialization of this technology.
P Each country represented through the nano4m think tank has policies to foster public-private-partnerships. In Spain, there are technological platforms with a sectorial orientation like Nanomedicine, which fosters the industrialization of nano and micro technologies for medical applications. Moreover, the CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) publishes regularly about Nano Micro research results. Also French structuring calls from Future Investments are examples of calls for strong partnerships where high-level technologies are investigated and business models are defined with return on investments for partners and investors. Another example is the mutual platforms for innovation, which are PPP that create and gather R&D forces to work on specific applied R&D projects (total budget 4 to 10 M€). A last instance is the Technological Research Institutes, PPP with multidisciplinary thematic institutes gathering academic and industrial competences to support high innovative clusters, typically the competitiveness clusters in France. The specificity of these PPPs is that public national funding must be below 50%, the rest coming from territorial authorities and the private sector and that credible business models plan for a return on investments of both public and private investors.
P In Münster, a great deal of communication about nano risks and opportunities is carried out with the public. Many public events are held. Since nano/micro technologies are transversal to many industrial sectors, a comprehensive demonstrator approach accompanied with an objective and transparent communication policy could support social acceptance of such intriguing subjects.
nano4m 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.
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 (TZM) www.tzdo.de CeNTech GmbH www.centech.de Agenzia per lo Sviluppo Empolese Valdelsa Spa www.asev.it
For additional information please visit www.nano4m.eu
The contents reflect the author’s views and the Managing Authority is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.