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CERTIFIED TRANS-NATIONAL TT- MANAGER" - Building up a framework to qualify TT- Managers on a trans-national level and with mutual recognition

Final Report Summary - CERT-TTT-M (Certified Trans-national TT-manager - Building up a framework to qualify TT- Managers on a trans-national level and with mutual recognition)

A consortium of 11 partners from 7 Member States started the project CERT-TTT-M, which aimed at building up a framework to qualify TT-managers on a trans-national level and with mutual recognition in Europe. As a bottom-up initiative the consortium consisted of innovation policy makers and public research organisations with the aim of ensuring sustainable implementation.

Project activities were divided into two parts. The activities of the first half of the project focussed on market-data collection and analysis with the aim of creating a valid basis for a certification framework.

Data was needed on the demand-side, in particular answering questions like which skills TT-managers should be trained in, which training modules are they interested in attending, what should be the maximum costs of training and how should training be structured in terms of duration and frequency and of course the decisive question - how big is the market size for a prospective certification. These and more questions were included in questionnaires used for interviews and online-survey. The consortium partners collected about 3 000 contacts of technology transfer managers from all over Europe and translated the questionnaire into seven languages. All the results of this valid and representative survey have been elaborated by the Business School of Rotterdam and published on the project's website http://www.ttt-manager.eu in the report: 'Key elements of education programme for certified trans-national TT managers'.

Secondly, data was needed about the supply-side of the technology transfer market. Again, the consortium partner collected dozens of training courses resulting in a sample of 161 courses in nineteen EU countries. The Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) undertook to categorise the course and identified 51 Master programmes, 31 part of Masters, 11 Diploma courses, 59 courses and 9 workshops / summer schools. For ten countries MCI went into deep analysis based on the seven skills ranked on the demand-side. In this way, the gap between the market-demand (requirements) and the market-offer (existing-programmes) became evident.

The desktop research was enriched by analysis of good practice courses. Seven organisations were invited to present as a benchmark their proved approaches and all the partners discussed and elaborated the consequences for a future certification programme. Consequently, MCI merged all the prior findings into the 'Main report: Study on European TT education programmes and benchmarking'.

Based on this research, the project proceeded with the second part of the project which was the creation of a CERT-TTT-M framework. As a first step, a model curriculum comprising seven skill-sets for TT management were defined:
(1) managing communication, information and networking
(2) understanding IPR and licensing
(3) commercial activities and markets
(4) new business development
(5) negotiating
(6) project management
(7) information retrieval and analyses (this skill-set was strongly recommended by European Patent Office (EPO)).

The project found it promising that as a spin-off from the project that almost all partners and advising organisations have been combining efforts in order to head for a Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) project dealing with the institutional integration of the Framework which could be the starting point of an 'European knowledge transfer society'. This would be also a good opportunity to continue streamlining the process started within CERT-TTT-M with similar approaches in and beyond Europe such as the United States-based Certified Licensing Professional (CLP) initiative of LESI.

In this respect, CERT-TTT-M can be considered a major step towards an established technology transfer management profession in Europe. Or to say it with the words of advisors: '…The deliverables are very useful, groundbreaking and are already having considerable impact...' and '…The CERT-TTT-M project was initiated at a key moment in time. It is essential that the European Commission continue to maintain their interest in the development of the European KT community…'.

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