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Validation of the "QUASI ENTERPRISE" initiative: a new southern European Model for setting up innovative firms through a new approach to technology transfer

Objective

To contribute to the generation of university spin-off's, by addressing some of the most common university dysfunctional factors. To contribute towards more and faster effective technology transfer, reducing time taken to commercialise research or implement innovation between SME's and university.

Description of the work:
University research groups enjoy the use of high quality scientific equipment, but lack sufficient human and logistic resources to ensure the right degree of administrative support. Also, they fail to detect business opportunities and don't have the knowledge to create and manage a business project based on their scientific discoveries (lack of professionalism explains some of the mortality rate of university spin-off's).
The "Quasi-E" project provides academics staff with an alternative system to interact with enterprises and resolve the dilemma of choosing between scientific and entrepreneurial dedication, a problem that arises when entrepreneurial activities can be derived from university research.

A Research Group becomes a Quasi-Enterprise by incorporating the full-time support services of a Promoter, who is responsible for research promotion and administrative management activities. The project denomination - Quasi-E - relates to the fact that the research group keep their legal condition as academic personnel, but work like and enterprise. The Quasi-Enterprise also benefits from general facilities (offices, meeting rooms, auditorium and common administrative services) offered in the programme and located at the innovation centre managed by each one of the participants, as well as of the technology transfer support done by their specialists.

The Promoters are postgraduates who have been appointed after passing a test designed to detect aptitude and skills in the area of management and promotion. They must add entrepreneurial dynamism to the group, but their final should be to create their own firm, for which they work with a team - the research group - that generates ideas. The Promoters have the assistance of a tutor, who monitors their complementary training needs. This tutor, preferably belonging to the financial sector, will be in the future the key access to the necessary funds required to create a new firm.

Milestone and expected results:
- Validation of the Quasi-E successful work - proved in Spain - in two similar regions (Italy and Portugal) and its consolidation in Spain;
- A total of 20 research groups working as Quasi-E at the end of the period;
- A favourable climate within these university areas for the generations of new spin-off's based on innovative ideas or procedures from de groups;
- Validation of a different approach to technology transfer;
- To share improvements with two new regions, each one providing different skills.

Coordinator

Bosch i Gimpera Foundation (University of Barcelona)

Participants (2)

Area Science Park (University of Trieste)
Italy
Tecminho (University of Minho)
Portugal