Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Public research organisations (PROs) have always been an important source of innovation. The report reviews the knowledge transfer processes and their evolution over the last 30 years. The processes evolved from an �Open Science� model in which the PROs did not retain any IPR, to a �Licensing Model� in which the PROs started to retain, protect and commercialise inventions based on their discoveries, essentially through licensing the IPR to industry or to start-up companies. However, over the last ten years, a third model, which we call the �Innovation Model�, has started to develop in Europe and to a lesser extent in the USA. In this model, the Licensing Model, which is still important, has been supplemented by a more active policy of collaborative research with industry, and by a pro-active involvement in the creation of spinout companies. The results are comparatively more important at regional level and have been encouraging so far in the countries where it has been applied to a significant level.

This report reviews the practical issues in defining the objectives, the missions, the functions, the funding and the resources and makes recommendations on how they can be resolved. Clearly, the job of knowledge transfer officer is particularly challenging and requires a very broad set of skills as well as exposure to industrial experience. It will inevitably take many years for a Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO) team to accumulate the skills, knowledge and experience for the job. This time can be shortened by supporting the development at European level of a professional association of KTOs in order to share experience, disseminate good practices and tools and provide continuous professional development and training.

Additional information

Authors: MACDONALD L, European Commission, DG Research, Brussels (BE);CAPART G (EDITORS),
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20915 EN (2004), 60 pp. Free of charge
Availability: EUR-OP reference: KI-NA-20-915-EN-C Available from: Documentation Service of DG Research Fax: +32 2 295 8220 E-mail:
ISBN: ISBN: 92-894-6422-4
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