Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - TARTU-ZERNIKE TECHNO (Technological knowledge transfer partnership between the university of Tartu (Estonia) and Zernike group (Netherlands))

The general purpose of the project has been to facilitate the links between the research made at the university of Tartu and the commercial application of research results by Estonian and European Union (EU) companies.

The project partnership between the University of Tartu (Estonia) and Zernike group (Netherlands) has following objectives:

- To develop, using the experts and scholars from Zernike, at the University of Tartu post-graduate and other schooling programs in the fields of entrepreneurship and technology. Two longer incoming secondments of Zernike related experts to Tartu were started both from 1 November 2004. The secondment of the visiting tutor Douwe Djik lasted 5 months from 1 November 2004 to 31 March 2005. The one year secondment of the visiting senior researcher Prof. Piero Formica lasted from 1 November 2004 to 31 October 2005. From 1 March 2006 to 31 May 2006 Mr Dijk had follow-up secondment to Tartu. This secondment had similar purposes to the first one. Both visitors have participated actively in the master study program of entrepreneurship and technology management at University of Tartu, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (FEBA) as lecturers and tutors. Douwe Djik had in fall semester 2004 comprehensive marketing course for this audience, whereas Prof. Formica thought them course on entrepreneurship, innovation and governance of start-up companies. Mr Douwe Djik did important work as marketing consultant on the technological research project at university of Tartu institute of technology. Prof. Formica, appointed in Tartu as visiting senior researcher, contributed considerably to the development of research in the area of entrepreneurship conducted by Tartu FEBA, as well as to the emergence of international technology development research contacts with researchers from Europe and elsewhere. The lecture materials and other publications of both visitors have helped to improve the focus and quality of entrepreneurship and technology management studies at post-graduate level as well as improved the technology management competence of Tartu researchers.

- To enhance the competence of experienced researchers from University of Tartu by training them in Zernike and its affiliates in following fields:
- the commercialisation of scientific results into marketable products;
- the protection of intellectual property via licensing and patenting procedures;
- the establishment of spin-off companies.

- To facilitate the competence of market potential screening in case of emerging innovative solutions and products.

- To increase the possibilities for global marketing of the products and services developed by the researchers of Tartu University via using the extensive corporate network of Zernike group. The competence enhancement of experienced researchers from University of Tartu has been taken place by outgoing secondments to industry partner Zernike in Groningen, the Netherlands. Since January 2005 to December 2006 altogether 18 researchers from Tartu have been seconded as intern stipend recipients to Zernike Netherlands and in one case to Zernike United Kingdom (Hendrik Pavel). The duration of these internships has been from two to four person-months. The policy of consortium has been to allocate more time to these secondments, which contribute more directly to the achievement of long-term objectives of the work package and the entire project. The outgoing secondments from coordinator have been aimed at facilitating the commercialisation of research results into marketable products, whereas some internship focus on the further protection of researchers intellectual property via licensing and patenting procedures.

The establishment of cooperative contacts and research networks has so far proved to be more important secondment objective than the establishment of spin-off companies. Many seconded researchers already operate in existing spin-offs or are not yet at that stage. However, the commercialisation and intellectual property protection have been on the very focus of these secondments.

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