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European Network of Knowledge Transfer in Health

Final Report Summary - ENTENTE (European Network of Knowledge Transfer in Health)

Executive Summary:
The main aim of ENTENTE was to strengthen the capacity of technology transfer offices in universities, public research organisations, hospitals and to promote transnational collaboration between industry and academia in the health sector, through networking activities among all the key stakeholders within knowledge transfer in the health sector in Europe.

Over the 2 years ENTENTE has clearly achieved its objectives via the following 4 key activities:

1. Networking and exchange of expertise between all stakeholders involved in TT which led to the following key results:
• 1530 ENTENTE community members
• 8 dedicated ENTENTE Newsletters sent to community members
• Presentations at 30+ Networking events in Europe, US and Asia as well as the organisation of 2 dedicated ENTENTE events
• Active presence on Twitter & LinkedIn

2. Sharing Experience and Best Practices amongst TTO professionals by producing and disseminating:
• 102 Best practices published on-line
• 12 Best-practice videos released
• 25 Success stories presented
• 16 policy measures published
• An on-line guide to technology transfer

3. Implementing an Exchange Programme for Tech Transfer Professionals in Health which encompassed:
• The design of a professional exchange programme
• 4 calls for candidates
• 129 eligible applications from 83 TTOs and 22 countries
• 34 Exchanges carried out

4. Formulating Recommendations for enhancing knowledge transfer in health at European level
• 9 meetings of the ENTENTE Advisory boards
• 2 public reports and 1 White paper presenting key actions and recommendations for TTOs, Academics, Industry and policymakers on how to facilitate TT in Europe in the field of health.
• Key recommendations and actions for promoting KT within Europe

Project Context and Objectives:
The Knowledge Transfer (KT) in health is the entire process of bringing world class research from the lab onto the market for the benefit of patients in the form of safe and effective innovative medicines and technologies. Along the process, creating links between industry and science is a key dimension in translating the results of academic research into a form which can be more readily adopted by industry and commerce. The Technology Transfer Organisations (TTOs) are the organisations that play this fundamental role in Knowledge Transfer.
Despite Europe produces world class research, knowledge transfer capacities remain generally weak in Europe for several reasons.

Firstly there are few TTOs with real track records of successful licensing deals which have brought healthcare products to market. TTOs often lack staff having both scientific and industry expertise needed to deeply understand the academic environment as well as the needs of the industry and business. Likewise universities, public research organisations (PROs) and institutes must compete with Pharma and biotech companies to recruit and retain talented competent resources, of which there is a shortage.

Secondly national and regional research and innovation systems are still working on separate tracks, leading to costly duplication. Within each country, fragmentation of IP spread over several Universities and research centres add levels of complexity to any potential deal and slow down the negotiation time of partnerships and deals with the industry. High costs of IPR and the increasing scarcity of Venture Capital seriously hinders investment into innovative companies within Europe. Finally, barriers within the single market make it more difficult for different players to work together across borders.

Furthermore, the Health sector has its own inherent difficulties as the timeline to develop exploitable results by the private sector takes longer, compared to ICT or engineering for instance, as proof of concept, pre-clinical and clinical studies are both lengthy and expensive.
Access to venture capital is more difficult in Europe compared to the US, impacting the number of innovations funded. The Health and biotech sector requires venture capital funds due to the high development costs required to get innovations to market. One of the major difficulties for start-ups is to find private or public funding in the “valley of death” phase (to achieve proof of concept) as the identification of private investment networks is more complex due to the number of actors and EU countries making transnational deals quite complicated. Therefore reinforcing the interaction between funders and SMEs/biotech and industry is a prerequisite for improving the KT in Europe.

Finally, the decreased productivity in Pharma R&D processes has triggered an increased demand for open innovation, which represents a growing opportunity for enhanced public private partnership at the early stages of health research. Therefore enhancing transnational collaboration between industry and academia is essential to valorisation in the health sector in Europe, as well as strengthening the KT operations transnational between different academic institutions. The changing demography of the European population and the fact that Europe lags behind when considering the innovation momentum, also calls for introducing a more open pan European arena for stimulating innovation in the Health sector.

Overall, all these obstacles to innovation process cannot be faced at the individual organisation level and some of them need a change in the framework conditions at European level, like the introduction of the EU patent.
But reinforcing technology/knowledge transfer capacity within universities and public research organisations is a prerequisite for improving the technology transfer process in the health sector and increasing the competitiveness of European health industries and businesses for the benefit of European citizens. It is also a fundamental and crucial requirement if Europe is to “innovate” itself out of the current economic crisis as the OECD recommends. This was the major behind ENTENTE coordination action.

ENTENTE objectives

The main aim of ENTENTE was to strengthen the capacity of technology transfer offices in universities, public research organisations, hospitals and to promote transnational collaboration between industry and academia in the health sector, through networking activities among all the key stakeholders within knowledge transfer in the health sector in Europe.

The project objectives were:

1- To develop a web platform for shared learning and networking for scientists, hospitals, program managers and policy makers, enabling continuous update of innovative measures and interactive networking among all type of actors.

2- To continuously identify and promote good knowledge management and knowledge transfer practices in the EU Member States and Associated Countries, providing evidence on best practices, including standardization and key components for running a successful TTO.

3- To give visibility to the best achievements at the European level, including impact of legislation and tax incentives on technology transfer and innovative SMEs, as well as successful KT from EU– funded projects.

4- To develop an on-line repository of identified best practices (and success stories) in KT, and the active promotion of such best practices and success as part of the web platform and built on existing repositories.

5- To promote interactions between the universities, industry, investors and individual researchers with the organisation of workshops, partnering events, and staff exchanges, between different types of actors.

6- To coordinate key national activities in KT through the ASTP annual conference and other associations activities.

7- To organize two ENTENTE events during the project lifetime, promoting collaboration and exchanges with industry, finance, SMEs and SME associations in particular.

Project Results:
The project objectives were translated into 4 key activities each of which gave rise to several key results:
1. Networking and exchange of expertise between all stakeholders involved in TT
2. Sharing Experience and Best Practices; giving visibility to Success Stories
3. Implementing an Exchange Programme for Tech Transfer Professionals in Health
4. Formulating Recommendations for enhancing knowledge transfer in health at European level


1. Networking and exchange of expertise between all stakeholders involved in TT

Key results:
• 1530 ENTENTE community members (of which ~300 from social media followers)
• 8 dedicated ENTENTE Newsletters sent to community members
• Presentations at 30+ Networking events and organisation of 2 dedicated ENTENTE events
• Active presence on Twitter & LinkedIn

1.1. The ENTENTE platform (see figure 1 in attachment) available at www.ENTENTE -health.eu has acted as the main hub for the community, which has grown over the 2 years to 1530 members exceeding our initial target of 700. This community has been built up by continuously promoting the project content (notably our best practices, success stories and policy measures) and activities (Exchange programme, events), via the web platform as well as feeding via the platform the ENTENTE twitter and LinkedIn feeds.

Registered users from the website have complete visibility of project actions and access to all the relative content generated. All ENTENTE material uploaded within the private sections of the website have been made partly available for consultation to the public; in this way users have been “pushed” to sign up on the platform in order to fully access them.

Furthermore in the registration phase, Social registration facilities have been included allowing the users to register through their already exiting social accounts (in particular: Google, LinkedIn, twitter and Facebook).

For the entire duration of the project, the portal had a total of more than 10,000 visitors (Users that have had at least one session) and 17,866 sessions (A session is the period time a user is actively engaged with the website.)

In terms of downloads the most popular have been the Best practice documentation as detailed below:
• 683 downloads of Best Practices documentations
• 101 downloads of Staff exchange documentations
• 93 downloads of institutional documents and communication
• 78 downloads of event communication and promotion
• 47 downloads of Success Stories and Policy Measures documentations
• 21 downloads of Newsletters pdf version

1.2. Bi-monthly Newsletter
The objective of the ENTENTE newsletter service was to inform the community about project updates and to make the members familiar with the contents produced. It has also been an instrument to outreach the community and encourage the visits to the website as well as the participation to the project’s initiatives.

The newsletters were sent via e-mail to the registered users of the ENTENTE website. In some cases however, the mail-out was also sent to some additional contacts that were provided by the partners as their own contact databases (e.g. for the ENTENTE Final event).

1.3. Presentations at 30+ Networking events
One of the major dissemination tools in ENTENTE consisted of dedicated ENTENTE presentations at related events. Over 30 oral presentations were made at sector events in Europe as well as internationally in Brazil, Australia, Malaysia, USA.

1.4. Two dedicated ENTENTE Events
Two key dedicated ENTENTE events were organised within the project lifetime:

• The 2014 ENTENTE Life Sciences Investment Forum held on 9th October 2014
The objective of this event was to unite European early stage innovative companies active in the health sector seeking investment opportunities and international exposure. 28 (out of 95 eligible) companies were selected and were invited to pitch their innovation, developments and needs in front of an international jury consisting of about 40 business angels, venture capitalists, corporate investors and other industry experts. The jury benchmarked the best-rated companies which were selected to participate in the European Venture Summit & Contest Award in Dusseldorf on 8-9 December 2014. The event was promoted across the 2014 European Venture Contest and across 13 other international events, giving significant visibility for the ENTENTE project and its partners. 8 winners from the ENTENTE Life Sciences Investment Forum were invited to the European Venture Summit in Dusseldorf.

• ENTENTE Final Conference
The ENTENTE Final Conference was held jointly with the TTS Europe in Barcelona on 28-29 April 2015 and was the occasion for 176 participants, drawn from TTOs, Venture capitalists, Industry, biotech SMEs and leading research organisations within and beyond Europe, to propose, discuss and debate how to foster improved technology transfer in the field of health. It was also the opportunity to highlight ENTENTE key results notably the best practices and recommendations drawn up by the ENTENTE Advisory Board. All participants were provided with the USB key containing all the ENTENTE best practices, which were also circulated in electronic format to participants, and success stories also available on the ENTENTE website.

The final joint meeting of the ENTENTE Industry, Investor and TTO Advisory Board was held on the afternoon prior to the event (27th April 2015) and brought together some 35 experts drawn from 18 Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) and 14 Health Industry and investment organisations to discuss and agree on a short list of major drivers and bottlenecks within the knowledge transfer process in Europe in the field of Health, which have been summarized in the form of a White paper for the benefit of all TT stakeholders notably at the institutional and political levels.

During the event video interviews with keynote speakers and panellists were produced and have since been published on the ENTENTE website enabling the wider community to benefit from the expertise present at the event.

Interactions at the event as well as feedback provided by via an event questionnaire indicate that the participants appreciated both the level of organisation of the event as well as the relevance and interest of the event programme.

1.5. Active presence on Twitter and Linkedin
About one month before the end of the project, the community had a total of 1530 members (latest update 27/07/2015) composed by (see figure 2 in attachment):
• 875 registered on the platform (133 of them apply for the Staff Exchange Programme)
• 414 Followers on Twitter
• 127 Followers on LinkedIn
• 34 registered on the website and follower on Twitter
• 73 registered on the website follower on LinkedIn
• 7 registered on the website, follower on twitter and on LinkedIn

The Twitter segment of the ENTENTE community experienced an important growth during the project duration with an average of 28 new followers per month. By the project end we had over 448 followers, 264 tweets and 275 retweets. With regard to the online performances of the whole live coverage of the 2 key ENTENTE events, we can consider two criteria: the outreach of the ENTENTE account and its own activity in relation to events (see Table 1 in attachment).

The number of interactions that the tweets received represents all actions that were undertaken by users who saw the tweets: retweets, likes, favourites or click through. These interactions, which were roughly 3 for each tweet on average for both the event and are the measure of the interest that the tweets were able to excite in the users who came in contact with them and can be considered definitely satisfying.

Finally with an initial objective of creating a community via the various communication means of 700 members involved in Technology Transfer in Health sector issues we can say that this objective has been surpassed as we now count some 1530 members within the ENTENTE community.


2. Sharing Experience and Best Practices; giving visibility to Success Stories

Key results:
• 102 Best practices published on-line
• 12 Best-practice videos released
• 25 Success stories presented
• 16 policy measures published
• A guide to technology transfer produced
• A White paper (see section 4)

2.1. Best practices
The 102 ENTENTE Best practices provide information on practices, methods or tools used in the Knowledge Transfer process and explain how, when and why these are used.

In order to gather best-practices in technology transfer TTO’s within the broad network of the ENTENTE partners were contacted. However, although many TTO’s have plenty of experience it is rarely formalized. Only occasionally individual TTO’s have formalized their expertise and practices in documents that are suitable for broad distribution as Best Practices with an educational value. On the other hand, many organisations and projects, including EU Commission initiatives and EU supported projects, have made available instructive guidance on varying aspects of the Knowledge Transfer process. An important effort in ENTENTE was to search, evaluate and select from these existence documents, the material suitable for inclusion, be it by reference, in the final ENTENTE repository of 102 Best Practices. Next to the existing best practices this repository comprises 26 new best practice documents. In general, the existing documents provide insight and support with respect to the enabling skills required in the technology transfer process, such as IPR management, drafting agreements, technology valuation, ethical considerations, amongst others. Many of the new best practices aimed at providing guidance on how to practically implement these skills within an academic TTO setting.

All these best practices are available from the ENTENTE portal and will be on line for a year after project end (August 2016) and will also be available and enriched by ASTP-ProTon who will continue working on best practices in technology transfer. The repository of best practices was also made available on a USB key to all participants at the ENTENTE final conference.

2.2. Success Stories
The ENTENTE Success Stories either highlight outstanding examples of how academic health research contributed to the successful introduction of new products and services in the market, or illustrate how a particular problem in the Knowledge Transfer process was resolved in a creative and effective way.

A first batch of 10 success stories has been published both on the ENTENTE website and as part of the ASTP Impact Report Europe 2013. These stories were gathered by ASTP following a call to the TTO’s to submit successful cases of technology transfer. An additional call for success stories was then launched and 12 well documented new cases were submitted and should be published in Autumn 2015 on the ENTENTE website along with 3 additional cases provided by partners within their own environment. In total therefore ENTENTE will have published 25 success stories.

2.3. Policy measures
The 16 ENTENTE Policy Measures provide information on interesting initiatives of a regional, national or international policy level that favour the interaction between academia and industry and facilitate the development of academic health research results towards commercial products.

In order to identify best achievements at a policy level (Policy Measures) the ENTENTE partners built on the European Knowledge Transfer Study 2010 - 2012 (RTD/Dir C/C2/2010/SI.569045; www.knowledge-transfer-study.eu) published in 2013, information on the ERAWATCH website (http://erawatch.jrc.ec.europa.eu/) and the input of the KU Leuven/VIB network. In total 16 Policy Measures were selected for publication on the ENTENTE Website in November 2014.

2.4. A guide to technology transfer
This on-line guide provides an overview of the main steps in the technology transfer process: different types of IP, patent filing and management etc.


3. Implementing an Exchange Programme for Tech Transfer Professionals in Health

Key results:
• Design of a professional exchange programme including 9 dedicated tools
• 4 calls for candidates
• 129 eligible applications from 83 TTOs and 22 countries
• 34 Exchanges carried out

The ENTENTE Professional Exchange Programme provided the TTO community with a two-fold opportunity by enabling:
i) All European stakeholders in healthcare innovation to actively contribute, at no cost, to developing the capacity for healthcare innovation and academia-industry collaboration.

ii) The development and strengthening of relationships between key industry players and academic research technology transfer and commercialization professionals, and their peers and industry counterparts, fostering potential collaboration through awareness of the most interesting opportunities, whilst developing stronger ties and mutual understanding with their potential collaboration partners will ensure a greater likelihood of successful negotiations leading to win-win collaborations.

All in all the ENTENTE Professional Exchange Programme has been a success as the consortium achieved:
• The design and set up of this Professional Exchange Programme including a Selection Committee;
• The production of 9 tools for Hosting and Laureates exchange implementation including Grant agreement, staff exchange application for hosting institution, list of per diem rate per country, candidate application form, automatic reply e-mail for candidate, time-sheet, CDA form, report form, key performance indicators that serve as a model for future Exchange programmes;
• Launch and wide dissemination of 4 calls:
o 24 hostings organisations
o 34 exchanges carried out
o 129 eligible applications (Selection rate 28%)
o Application from 110 different candidates, 83 different TTOs, 22 different countries (see figure 3 in attachment).
The Country of origin of the Programme Laureates is displayed in figure 4 (see attachment).
• Reporting procedure put in place including a PPT report, Time sheet, Quantitative and qualitative KPIs provided by each laureate and validated by the Host organisation;
• Published testimonies from the programme laureates available on the ENTENTE website enhancing the project visibility;
• Constant assistance to hosting organisations, candidates and laureates during the whole duration of the programme, validation of the reporting, reimbursement of the grant.
In terms of tangible results for the Programme Laureates some examples are listed below:
• Experience of new tools that can enrich every day practice i.e. databases, CDA, NDAs, MTAs, licensing contracts, accounting, quality process, termsheets, negotiation processes, scouting and technology assessment as well as patent strategies;
• Transnational effort on valorising a license;
• Future collaboration in Horizon 2020 projects;
• Enlarged professional network for the laureate and consequently for the Hosting organisations;


4. Formulating Recommendations for enhancing knowledge transfer in health at European level

Key results:
• 9 meetings of the ENTENTE Advisory boards
• 2 public reports and 1 White paper
• Key recommendations and actions for promoting KT within Europe

Throughout the ENTENTE project 9 Advisory Board Meetings have taken place of which 5 with TTO and Industry members and 4 National Association Advisory Committee (NAAC) meetings as follows:
• TTO advisors (Vienna) - May 2013
• Industry advisors (London) - July 2013
• Joint TTO & Industry advisors (Barcelona) - Nov 2013
• Joint TTO & Industry advisors (Paris) - Apr 2014
• NAAC Meeting (Oslo) - May 2014
• NAAC Meeting (Brussels) - Sept 2014
• NAAC Meeting (Prague) - Nov 2014
• Joint TTO & Industry advisors (Barcelona) - April 2015
• NAAC Meeting (Istanbul) - May 2015

These meetings led to the following key results:
• The 5 TTO and Industry meetings mobilised a total of 14 TTO advisors and 5 Industry advisors who have collectively produced 2 public meeting reports and a white paper on the Drivers and bottlenecks in the European Knowledge Transfer Process outlined below.
• The 4 NAAC meetings have enabled 29 national technology transfer networks all over Europe to be mobilized and have collectively developed a set of useful tools for the profession, have put in place and agreed on a MoU as well as producing promotional bulletins and a promotional video.

4.1. White paper: Drivers and bottlenecks in the European Knowledge Transfer Process
The White Paper summarizes the reflections and discussions during the meetings of the Advisory Board of the EU FP7 project ENTENTE (HEALTH-F1-2012-305128), which brought together knowledge transfer professionals from both industry and academia in frank and open discussions on the possibilities and problems of academic knowledge transfer within the field of health. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the knowledge transfer process and the role of the different actors therein. Within this analysis of the current European Knowledge Transfer practice we attempt to point out the current drivers, bottlenecks as well as possible solutions. In the last part of the document we present key recommendations on how to accelerate the up-take of research results in the form of exploitable products and services for the benefit of patients and citizens. These recommendations are directed to all the different stakeholders of the knowledge transfer process, but with particular attention for actions by the academic research institutes and their TTO services. For the purpose of this White Paper two types of Knowledge Transfer are referred to: i) ‘technology transfer’ - the transfer of academic research results to industry in view of their translation into commercial products and services and ii) ‘implementation’ - strategies that accelerate the wide implementation of research results into policies and practice, as not suitable to be become commercial products or services as such.

With respect to technology transfer, the discussions within the ENTENTE Advisory Board revealed that the health industry, in particular pharma and large biotech, clearly values the health research of the European public research organisations as a source of innovation. However, it is not industry’s primary objective to be involved in technology transfer. Industry’s interest to collaborate with academia is essentially driven by either its internal need for certain research services and/or the opportunity an academic technology offers to support or expand its commercial objectives. Within this commercial logic, industry duly considers alternative sourcing options as well as any risk and transaction costs involved before engaging in a technology transfer collaboration with an academic partner. Consequently, research institutes have to deliver competitive innovation opportunities, whilst being able to assist their industrial partners in evaluating and managing the risks and transaction costs associated to the development of these technologies. It is clear that this requires particular knowledge and skills on behalf of the academic researchers, who conceive, execute and communicate the research as well as of the technology transfer offices (TTOs), who typically coordinate the transactions and advise the researchers on all commercial and intellectual property issues linked to their research. The ENTENTE Advisory Board puts forward that the tech transfer knowledge and skills as well as the motivation to acquire them vary greatly amongst European academic researchers. Furthermore, the TTO services available to the European researchers tend to diverge in objectives, capacity and operational quality. Advisors also indicated that in many cases the results of academic research lack the level of robustness and validation required by industry when making an investment decision. However, bringing research up to the level of industry standards is not easy within the academic setting, partly because the feasibility/proof of concept work this requires is perceived by researchers as having low academic merit but also because the funding for such work is limited.

In view of the above the White Paper specifically puts forward following recommendations with respect to technology transfer:
i) Prioritizing technology transfer as a primary objective of academic health research:
The ENTENTE Advisory Board recommends that academic research organisations unambiguously commit to the transfer of the results of their health research and consistently communicate this objective. Considering the central role of the researchers and their research groups in academic research reaching this objective requires that the researchers are continuously motivated to act on the tech transfer opportunities linked to their results. Different mechanisms for incentivizing researchers are proposed.
ii) Capacity building and professionalization of TTOs:
Within Europe the TTOs are very diverse. TTO differ in terms of structure, operation, objectives and expertise. In many aspects this diversity is closely linked to the diversity of the European research organisations. However, it is the opinion of the ENTENTE Advisory Board that although this diversity complicates the tech transfer landscape most of the problems associated with the working of TTOs are linked to a lack of capacity and professionalization of TTO staff. Therefore, the ENTENTE Advisory Board stressed the need for a continued investment in capacity building and professionalization of academic TTO services and proposes possible actions.
iii) Increasing the availability of funding for feasibility/proof of concept work.
Results of academic research often lack the level of robustness and validation required by industry when making an investment decision. As a result industry parties are at times reticent to partner with an academic group on the joint development of at first glance promising research results. Therefore, the ENTENTE Advisory Board advises to increase the availability of funding dedicated to the validation of academic research results in view of their valorisation.

Not all academic research results worthy of transfer can be brought to the patient via the commercial sector. Examples of such research results are amongst others surgery protocols, nursing strategies and treatments based on the adoption of life-style or nutritional changes. Typically, the implementation and take-up of these research results is dependent on targeted efforts of the academic researchers, independently or in collaboration with governmental or non-governmental organisations. Only rarely, support from central services of the research institutes, such as a TTO, is sought for such implementation. On the other hand, the skills and expertise of a TTO can be highly relevant for supporting the implementation of these research results. For instance, the emergence of (mobile) Apps monitoring personal health provides a tremendous opportunity to transform certain health research results into practical and understandable tools for the general public. Therefore, and with reference to the example of the health Apps, the ENTENTE Advisory Board calls upon the research institute and their TTOs to explore how they can assist their researchers in the implementation of so called ‘non-commercial’ research results.

The white paper will be of interest and assistance to all stakeholders directly or indirectly involved in knowledge transfer in health from academia to the general public and in particular to the patient.
To those involved in policy development within the field of health research and the valorisation thereof, the White Paper aims at providing an overview of the operational framework of academic knowledge transfer and how certain policy measures can assist and incentivize the academic research community to more effectively engage in this process.
To industry, including investors, this document aims to provide a better insight into both the potential and constraints of academic technology transfer. We hope that this information will be useful when negotiating and collaborating with academia and enable both parties to better understand each other.
With respect to the academic sector we hope that the analysis of the knowledge transfer process together with the proposed solutions and recommendations presented here will support you in your endeavour to boost academic knowledge transfer both in terms of volume and efficacy, while striking a balance with the academic tradition of free research and wide sharing of knowledge.

4.2. Overview of the Key recommendations and actions for promoting KT within Europe
Based on the analysis of the drivers and bottlenecks in the European Knowledge Transfer in the White paper the following actions have been identified in order to encourage and support the various stakeholders within the technology transfer process.

4.2.1. Making Knowledge Transfer and Technology Transfer primary objectives of academic health research
It goes without saying that the patient needs are at the heart of academic health research. Nevertheless, translating academic research results into innovative products and services that actually reach the patient through commercial, governmental or non-profit organisations require particular knowledge, skills and attitude that are not yet fully vested within academic culture and practice. Combined with the lingering perception that the academic approach is often at odds with the needs and objectives of in particular the commercial sector, this hampers the transfer of academic research towards broadly available treatment solutions. Bridging this gap requires that throughout the academic community the importance of knowledge and technology transfer, including the skills it requires, are fully understood and endorsed and that the academic institutes are considered as attractive partners for sourcing innovative solutions and technologies.

In view of the above it is a primary recommendation of the ENTENTE Advisory Board that academic research organisations unambiguously make knowledge transfer within health research a high priority and develop a clear and consistent communication towards the knowledge transfer stakeholders, in particular industry partners. As a primary funder of academic research and research institutes the policy levels (EU, national, regional) can incentivize and assist research institutes in this task. To implement this recommendation the following actions need to be carried out:
• Incentivizing academic researchers and research groups
As extensively discussed in Section 4.2 the researcher and his or her research group are the cornerstones of the academic research and by extension of the transfer thereof. Therefore, it is essential that incentives are put in place to motivate individual researcher or at least certain key members of a research group to develop basic knowledge transfer skills and to engage with industry (even if purely at the level of scientific discussion) to develop relationships with their peer industry researchers and to acquire an understanding of the scientific interests and priorities of industry. The different mechanisms available for motivating researchers and research groups to engage in technology transfer are extensively discussed in Section 4.2.1 of the White paper.

• Incentivize the research institute as a whole to engage and support technology transfer
Academic research heavily depends on the input of public funding made available on European, national and regional level. A large part of this funding is made available through competitive research grants. So by (further) emphasizing the importance given to the innovation potential and socio-economic impact of a given research project within the evaluation process in health research funding programmes, funding bodies strongly motivate the academic research groups to duly consider the translational aspects of their research when preparing a project application. However, this motivation strategy can be complemented with a post factum evaluation of the overall socio-economic impact resulting from the (health) research of a given research institute. To the extent that the results of this evaluation are subsequently used as a criterion in the allocation of the funding among research institutes within a country or region, it provides a strong incentive for the university administrations to duly motivate their researchers to act upon technology transfer opportunities and to invest in the infrastructure, skills and services needed to support this transfer. An example of such post factum analysis is the collection and analysis of the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) Impact Case studies in the UK. The four higher education funding bodies will use the assessment outcomes of REF2014 to inform the selective allocation of their grant for research to the institutions which they fund, with effect from 2015-16.

• Invest in communication with Industry and other Knowledge Transfer stakeholders at an institutional level
Although essential, frequent interaction between academic researchers and industry staff is not sufficient to clearly position a research institute as an attractive partner for industry or other technology transfer stakeholders. It further requires that potential industry partners are aware of the mission and objectives of the research institute with respect to knowledge transfer including their procedures and conditions for collaborating. Typically, this communication is done by the TTO representing the research institute. In order to do this successfully it is essential that the TTO has a clear mandate to independently represent the institute in all technology transfer related matters and that conflicting messages from within the research organisation are avoided. Within this communication strategy the ENTENTE Advisory Board recommends that TTOs invest in the development of a structured interaction and communication with industry partners to proactively explore (further) collaboration opportunities (see Section 5).

4.2.2. Professionalization of TTOs
TTOs in Europe are very diverse. While certain research organisations exclusively use the services of well-structured internal TTOs, others rely partly or entirely on external tech transfer services. Furthermore, within Europe the structure, objectives and expertise of these internal and external TTOs clearly vary. For industry parties, such as the pharma and biotech industry, who source academic research services and IP from many different institutes this diversity of TTO structures and operations adds to the complexity of collaborating with academia. However, considering that this diversity is closely linked to the diversity of the European research organisations themselves, their funding and the funding of their TTOs, it may not be feasible to bring about a harmonization of TTO structures, objectives and activities in the short term. On the other hand, capacity building and further professionalization of academic TTO staff, including a better understanding of the industry needs and objectives, will strongly contribute to a more efficient interaction between industry and the academic community irrespective of the existing TTO diversity. Furthermore, and as explained in Section 4.2.1.2 the availability of adequate technology transfer services clearly contributes to motivate researchers in engaging in technology transfer activities.

Therefore, the ENTENTE Advisory Board stressed the need for a continued investment in capacity building and professionalization of academic TTO services. Although the responsibility to build and structure their technology transfer capacity resides in first instance with the research institutes, the policy levels (regional, national and/or international (EU) level) as funders of academic health researcher and beneficiaries of successful knowledge transfer (reduction of health cost, regional development,...) should assist the research institutes in this task. Industry can also contribute to this professionalization of TTO staff by sharing information on (future) market opportunities and technology needs. Finally, it is evident that technology transfer associations and networks, such as Praxis-Unico, ASTP-Proton, ATTP and TTS, have an important supporting role in this professionalization process. As part of this recommendation the ENTENTE Advisory Board wishes to highlight the following recommended actions.
• TTO staff exchanges
The continuation of trans-national professional exchanges and secondments as pioneered by the ENTENTE Exchange programme, enabling TTOs professionals to work within the offices of their peers at larger TTOs, and importantly within the industry and investment fields, to develop and strengthen their competencies while simultaneously building relationships with and improving their understanding of their potential partners or collaborators in industry and finance.
• Building market knowledge
The ENTENTE Advisory Board identified a key need to invest in the continuous professional development of TTOs in particular with regard to improving their understanding of the markets within which they operate, and the needs and priorities of industry and investors, as well as how to engage with and negotiate effectively with these. They emphasized that what is needed is not theoretical training courses or congresses, but true professional development designed and delivered by professionals with strong technology transfer track records (entrepreneurship, finance, venture capital, business development) coming from the pharma, industry and investment sectors of biotechnology and healthcare and also having strong delivery skills. Such initiatives should of course continue to help build relationships and mutual understanding, but more importantly should delve deeply into building real expertise and market awareness needed for true strategic business development and the more efficient translation of Europe’s world-class research. This can be done in workshops gathering TTO staff and academic researchers with a strong focus on translational work under the guidance of industry experts for training and education on the market and the needs of the customer, as well as on opportunities within specific fields (e.g. anti-infectives, cancer chemotherapy...). Alternatively, it can be carried out via sustained educational or training programmes, or via intense bootcamps or a series of workshops and clinics. The goal here is not to be overly prescriptive as to the exact format, but rather to insist that curricula be developed and delivered by seasoned practitioners and experts and high level stakeholder representatives rather than by purely academic groups or consultancies without depth of experience in the field.
• Centralizing information on Best Practices and other guidance documents
It has to be noted that there is a substantial amount of valuable information for the training of in particular junior technology transfer staff freely available on the internet. Many different reputed organisations such as the European Patent Office, World Intellectual Property Organisations, IPR helpdesk, Praxis Unico amongst others freely disseminate up to date best practices and training materials. Unfortunately, this information is spread over many different websites. Within the ENTENTE project a searchable on-line repository of such documents has been made freely available via the website. The repository now needs to be incremented and maintained or a similar website referring to the guidance documents published by the indicated organisations put in place to assist TTO staff to easily find these documents.

4.2.3. Increase funds for Feasibility assessment/Proof of concept work
When presenting academic research results to a potential industry (or other socio-economic) partner, the latter although interested in the technology is reticent to engage in a transaction aiming at the development of the research results into a (commercial) application due to the fact that often they have insufficient information on aspects such as the repeatability of the results, the feasibility of scaling up the technology, the efficacy of the technology in commercially relevant applications, as well as the eventual scope of the intellectual property protection. Therefore, it is essential that as soon as a potential research result/technology is identified the industrial transferability of this technology is validated via a feasibility study or a proof of concept study to ensure that there is a true commercial application, preferably with broad IP protection. However, in current practice researchers (frequently) abandon translational research opportunities, as it is easier to find funding for new and more ‘fundamental’ research than to secure the funding needed to demonstrate the applicability of available research results. Moreover, such application oriented research is often less rewarding in terms of publication output and academic recognition. Another reason for prematurely abandoning the development of promising research results toward valorisation is linked to the fact that the potential value of these results typically becomes clear towards the end of a research project. That moment often coincides with the termination of the employment contract or scholarship of key-researchers on the project. In case the research group has not sufficient funds to retain these persons, crucial expertise is lost complicating or stalling the continuation of a promising line of research.

In view of the above the ENTENTE Advisory Board recommends that part of the overall academic research budget is allocated to feasibility assessment/proof of concept funding programmes. These programmes should address project proposals, including those of individual researchers, with a clear focus on research aiming at validating or demonstrating the commercial potential of a technology and/or strengthening the IP thereon. It is preferred that these programmes would have a quick turnaround time and frequent or open calls. Furthermore, they should allow for outsourcing certain research tasks to contract research organisations (CROs), which are used to carry out specific research tasks according to industry standards (e.g. standardized tox studies, analytical work requiring accreditation...). Next to public funding, other sources of such funding could be via internal research organisations budgets, charities or patient organisations. However, as well as increasing the availability of such funding, it is imperative that the research institutes and in particular their TTOs develop the capacity to (i) assist in the conception and execution of such projects and (ii) to monitor that this funding dedicated to valorising research is well spent (and for instance not derived to other research aspects of a more academic nature). Furthermore, the research organisations should aim at involving industry in the evaluation and the selection of the projects eligible for such funding as well as in the monitoring and coaching of the researchers awarded such funding.

Within the discussion on the feasibility assessment/proof of concept funding reference was made to the ERC Proof of Concept grants and the Business innovation grants for feasibility assessment purposed within the SME instrument of Horizon 2020.
- The ERC allows ERC grantholders to apply for Proof of Concept funding (with a maximum of 150,000 Euro per project) to bridge the gap between their research and the earliest stage of a marketable innovation.
- The Business innovation grants for feasibility assessment allow an SME to apply for a EUR 50,000 funding per project for exploring and assessing the technical feasibility and commercial potential of a breakthrough innovation that a company wants to exploit and commercialize.
In analogy, it would be of interest that similar funding becomes available for individual academic research groups for validating and further exploring the commercial potential of promising research results in view of convincing an industrial partner or investor to (jointly) engage in the further commercial development of these results. Considering the limited budget associated with such feasibility projects it could be envisaged that such funding schemes are set up within the research institute, be it with the support of the regional or national funders. Possibly, research funding bodies could provide the possibility of extending a project (e.g. for 6 to 12 months) with additional budget in case the beneficiaries can present a convincing plan for advancing well-defined project results towards valorisation. The prospect of such extension not only provides a possible solution to at least temporary retain researchers funded on the project, but also provides an incentive to duly and timely consider the technology transfer options linked to the project results.

4.2.4. Development of “Implementation” strategies
Not all academic research results worthy of implementation are brought to the patient via the commercial sector. Examples of such research results are surgery protocols, nursing strategies, and treatments based on the adoption of life-style or nutritional changes. Typically, the implementation of these research results outside the academic context depends on targeted efforts of the academic researchers, independently or in interaction with governmental or non-governmental organisations. Only rarely, support from central services of the research institutes, such as a TTO, are involved in this implementation. On the other hand, the skills and expertise of a TTO can also be of relevance for supporting the implementation these research results. For instance the emergence of (mobile) Apps monitoring personal health provides a tremendous opportunity to transform certain health research results into practical and understandable tools for the general public. However, building such ICT platforms and services requires that the expertise of researchers is combined with that of sensor developers and/or ICT professionals. Furthermore, such implementation strategies may require TTOs and their research organisations to create new business models to ensure sufficient funds are available both for developing and maintaining these health services.

In view of the above the ENTENTE Advisory Board advises that research institutes and their TTOs explore creative ways in which they can assist their researchers in bringing results to the patient or general population even when these results are as such not subject to well defined IP rights and/or directly of interest to the commercial sector. A particular example is the growing interest in mobile health apps, however, also other non-ICT based mechanisms (next to teaching and training) should be explored to facilitate the transfer of non-proprietary or non-commercial research results.
Potential Impact:
1. Potential impact
The main impacts of ENTENTE can be summarized at 3 levels:

Industry level: ENTENTE enables industry actors (pharma, biotech...) to interact and negotiate with academic partners and TTOs in a more collaborative and sustainable manner due to an increased level of understanding of the academic environment and drivers.

TTO level: ENTENTE will impact the level of cooperation and collaboration amongst TTOs in Europe and beyond as well as improving their daily practice and boosting their competencies of their employees.

Policy level:
At National policy level ENTENTE improved policy measures in the field of technology transfer as well as a better understanding of the need to invest and support TTOs in all fields of activities.

At EU policy level ENTENTE will facilitate the implementation of the Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative Innovation Union by addressing several of its objectives:
- Find ways to increase links between EU and national research and innovation systems.
- Reinforce cooperation between the worlds of science and the world of business by removing obstacles and finding incentives to be put in place.
- Make recommendations to lower barriers for entrepreneurs to bring “ideas to market”, especially on issues related to better access to finance, IPR estate.
- Participate to a better understanding of public sector innovation, and give visibility to successful initiatives and benchmark progress.
- Propose initiatives to improve trans-national and international cooperation.
- Propose and test initiative to raise the skills of professionals within KT.

The main impacts are summarized in the table 2 in attachment:

2. Main dissemination activities
Main dissemination activities have been outlined in section 4.1.3 of this report (Networking and exchange of expertise between all stakeholders involved in TT).

3. Exploitation of results
The main exploitable results of ENTENTE are as follows:

1. Repository of Best Practices
Purpose:
To assist technology transfer staff in finding reference documents and guidelines discussing the practical execution of particular knowledge transfer activities. The repository comprises both references to best practice materials of third parties as well as best practice documents developed within Entente.

How the foreground might be exploited, when and by whom:
The searchable repository of best practice documents is considered to be particularly useful for junior technology transfer staff looking for background information.

2. Repository of Policy Measures
Purpose:
The repository of Policy Measures comprises a selection of policy actions, which clearly contributed to the advancement of certain aspects of knowledge transfer in health.

How the foreground might be exploited, when and by whom:
This repository of selected cases can be used as a reference by both the technology transfer community and the policy level when interacting on further supportive policy actions in the field of knowledge transfer.

3. Repository of Success Stories
Purpose:
To illustrate the role and importance of academic research and technology transfer in the development of products and services that are made available to the ‘patient’ through the commercial and commercial non-profit sectors. The stories are presented in a format that is accessible to the general public.

How the foreground might be exploited, when and by whom:
The repository of Success Stories can serve as a reference and inspiration to all involved in technology transfer, but are also destined to inform the public on successful cases wherein academic research were translated towards dedicated products and services.

4. White Paper on Knowledge Transfer in Health
Purpose:
The paper aims at providing an overview of the current European Knowledge Transfer in health together with practical suggestions on how recurring knowledge transfer problems can be addressed next to formulating selected key recommendations on how to accelerate the up-take of academic research results in the form of exploitable products and services for the benefit of patients and citizens.

How the foreground might be exploited, when and by whom:
It is expected that the White Paper “Drivers and bottlenecks in the European Knowledge Transfer in Health” may be of interest and assistance to all stakeholders directly or indirectly involved in knowledge transfer in health.
To those involved in policy development within the field of health research and the valorisation thereof, the White Paper aims at providing an overview of the operational framework of academic knowledge transfer and how certain policy measures can assist and incentivize the academic research community to more effectively engage in this process.
To industry, including investors, this document aims to provide a better insight into both the potential and constraints of academic technology transfer. We hope that this information will be useful when negotiating and collaborating with academia and enable both parties to better understand each other.
With respect to the academic sector we hope that the analysis of the knowledge transfer process together with the proposed solutions and recommendations presented here will support the academic endeavour to boost academic knowledge transfer both in terms of volume and efficacy, while striking a balance with the academic tradition of free research and wide sharing of knowledge.

List of Websites:
http://entente-health.eu/