Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


PROGRESS-TT Report Summary

Project ID: 643486
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.2.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PROGRESS-TT (PROs GRowing Europe through best practice SolutionS for Technology Transfer)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Innovation is at the heart of Europe’s growth strategy. However, Europe lags behind its international competitors in converting investment in Public Research Organisation (PRO) research into commercial returns via innovation. Improving the transfer of technology from PROs to industry is a challenge requiring addressing many barriers, including the fact that most Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) in PROs are small, underfunded and lack relevant skills; they often have restricted access to investor pools and the long timescales of the TT process makes it difficult to secure finance; finally there is poor understanding between IP creators, exploiters, funders and end-users, hindering the efficiency of the process.
PROGRESS-TT - Public Research Organisation GRowing Europe through best practice SolutionS for Technology Transfer - is a three-year initiative funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 643486 to address these barriers. The project consortium, led by MITO Technology brings together eight highly qualified international partners, representing the complete value chain of Technology Transfer practitioners. They are: ASTP-Proton, DSM Nutritional Products, Fraunhofer MOEZ, Knowledge Innovation Market, Philips Intellectual Property & Standards, University of Bologna and VTT Ventures.
PROGRESS-TT is working on transferring the expertise of Europe’s leading PROs to those with the greatest potential to grow. The project is gathering best practice and case studies from leading PROs and industry thought-leaders and formulating into Europe’s most definitive TT tools, methods and insights. These are disseminated through a programme of knowledge transfer tailored to the audience’s level of ‘readiness’ to grow. The programme includes:
• Training, workshops, boot camps and e-learning delivered to medium potential PROs and TT funds to develop their core skills;
• Intensive coaching and mentoring for high potential PROs to accelerate their TT activity through teaming them with experts and counterparts, to build a supportive TT environment.
• Improving access to finance by bringing established and emerging funds together to share best practice and identify cross-border opportunities.

A TT Diagnostic tool has been created to help screen TTOs with medium to high potential performance - the main target audience of the project - to go through PROGRESS-TT capacity building activities. Eventually PROGRESS-TT will support at least 320 individuals through wide-reaching learning activities and up to 30 TTOs and Funds through one-to-one programme. Further on, as part of the project legacy the consortium is exploring how these projects results can be used by the widest audience possible to help improve the overall professional capability of the European TT Community. A key tool and piece of project foreground to reach out to this audience is the library of 11 Techology Transfer Best Practice and 44 case studies that is being set up at the project website, openly available to all TT practitioners.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the first 12 months the bulk of the activities focused on a number of research activities such as literature review of the key skills and competences needed to run a successful TTO, a survey of the TT community to understand their perceived needs for additional training and the current offering of such training. Partners worked with the project Advisory Board (including key TT stakeholders such as LES, EIF, EuKTS, the Commission, the JRC, EBAN or LERU) on the preparation of a transnational Capacity building Strategy going beyond the scope of the single PROGRESS-TT project and involving key actors of the whole TT value chain. through this research work partners refined the scope of PROGRESS-TT to support beneficiaries around four main Critical Areas of Focus (CAF), as follows:
o Scouting ideas/technologies from Public Research Organisations (PROs) and incentivising researchers to disclose IP;
o Assessing IP potential, validating technologies and incentivising for commercialisation;
o Accessing finance and interacting with financial stakeholders;
o Securing TTO Staff skills and organising the TTO for optimum growth.

In parallel a set of practical actions needed to prepare for the implementation of the capacity building programme of PROGRESS-TT have taken place. For example, the project partners worked out an assessment methodology for TTO performance which was turned into an online selection tool for the first PROGRESS-TT Capacity Building Call launched in December 2015. Partners created a pan-European database of TTOs and Experts able to support the former in their capacity building journey; this database is now an online tool accessible via the project website where users can browse the profiles of over 800 TTOs and many thousands of intermediaries. An important part of the work which took place in the first 18 months of the project related to identifying Best Practice (BPs) in and illustrative case studies (CSs) in TT process management; 11 BPs and 39 CSs have been collected to date in a common “Best Practice Repository” accessible from the PROGRESS-TT website. The end of 2015 and the first half of 2016 saw the acceleration of activities in WP3, 4 and 5, all relating to the implementation of the solutions devised during year 1: the CSs were formatted as learning material and disseminated during four dedicated events (a workshop, a training, a webinar and a four-day boot camp) gathering 71 participants in total and the launch of the call for intensive one-on-one capacity building support with the first cohort of 15 TTOs selected and matched TT experts having started their collaboration on 1 June 2016.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Progress beyond the state of the art:
The project has worked on two breakthrough outputs:

Output 1 - Sustainable, comprehensive strategy for building capacity in TT across Europe
There have been many previous attempts at improving technology transfer in Europe. However, many of these approaches have been local, disjointed and short term. In order to generate any long-term outcomes from this project, we must have a clear strategy which leads to a sustainable model of technology transfer optimisation. PROGRESS-TT during its first 18 months has generated a Capacity Building Strategy (CBS) for Technology Transfer Professionals proposing an implementation plan for the PROGRESS-TT solutions across Europe; this CBS will be further developed in the second half of the project by ASTP-Proton into a Legacy Plan which will survive the project.

Output 2 – Higher levels of TT expertise in Europe
The identification and dissemination of identified Best Practice and Case Studies at European level; this work is to our knowledge the first of its kind in its scale and approach; leveraging the existing wealth of knowledge of the TT community to inspire and stimulate its members is an essential step towards the professionalisation of the community.

Expected potential impact:
These two outputs will in turn enable the project to deliver longer term outcomes as follows:
Outcome 3 - Higher levels of TT expertise in Europe: this outcome arises from the continuous implementation of the PROGRESS-TT Capacity Building Strategy post project through our legacy planning.

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