Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

What is the main issue to address if we want to accelerate the transfer of research into the market?

Discussion

This year the workshop will focus, among other issues, on how to speed up the transfer of research and innovation to the market. It is well known that European excellence in research is not reflected on the market positioning. It is still cumbersome and slow to transfer knowledge from universities to companies.  

In you experience, which is the single thing that should be discussed if we want to accelerate this transfer of research into the market? Do you have any experience on how  easy/ difficult is to create a company to commercialize research results? What are the main bottlenecks?

 

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Comments

Jose Angel Martinez-usero's picture

To my mind and having into account previous experiences in ICT for inclusion and design for all.... I daresay that most of the products and services produced in European research are designed without having into consideration the real needs, preferences and desires of the final customers/users... Therefore, normally it is a market failure or lack of acceptance. Normally from the research perspective we say "My idea is fantastic and will improve the quality of life of thousands of European citizens.... but I cannot sell it".
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Laia Pujol's picture

How could then EC prevent that to happen in the R&D projects they are funding? Is there any rule /process that can be implemented in the new Horizon 2020 to accelerate tech transfer of research?
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Ana Garcia's picture

Responding to nmajeang and also to you Laia, I think early trials and pilots that bring research results to potential users, either citizens, developers, SMEs, public institutions are a valid point to accelearte this tech tranfer. It is not only because the sooner the prototypes are used in real life situations the sooner you can validate adoption by the targetted user but also because you raised awareness of the technology, establish business connections around that technology/ideas about how to use it, etc, and in other words it helps to build the foundations of the whole ecosystem. From that perspective the pilot instrument of CIP has/had value. However this is not always enough and it needs to be complemented with either a real creation of start-ups during project (talking about webentrepreneurship), or real transfer from Reserch departments to business units in case bigger companies.
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Sofía Moreno-pérez's picture

ICT research must be link to real needs to be transferred. Today this link is not established. It can’t be made mixing pure research (10 year horizon to impact the market) with current needs. Putting together, in the same project, in the same time horizon, innovation based in the use of ICT as an enabler of new opportunities (huge potential for transferring!!!) with new research on ICT (future opportunities), is a way to develop science, but not with the aim of impacting the market. 10 years of time as market horizon is not realistic in any case on ICT. World is spinning much faster today! Suggestions: - Don’t mix pure R&D on ICT with applications close to the market. It will imply wasting money and effort in some direction. - Create programs where real multidisciplinary innovation, using and developing mature ICT solutions, could be carried on. Without the need of adding some unnecessary very complex ICT development that will never arrive to the market and that will only satisfy the objective of matching the call for proposal requirements. - Allow co-creation and new methodologies to face real demand from society and to provide real useful innovations.
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Laia Pujol's picture

Thanks nmorsofi. Do you have any good example / best practice of co-creation and those new methodologies applied that have been translated into a successful product/ service in the market?
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Sofía Moreno-pérez's picture

In this blog you can find examples of effective innovation cased on co-creation
http://innovationforgrowth.wordpress.com/
And here some projects
http://www.openlivinglabs.eu/news/enoll-strategic-project-involvement

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Francesco Mureddu's picture

I see nmajeang's point but there are other elements to be considered. On the one hand we need new funding mechanisms for innovation, more flexible and agile. On the other hand education in Europe is still highly theoretical and not business oriented, so that entrepreneurs fail in identifying potential business opportunities stemming from basic research
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Elena Torrente's picture

I agree with nmurefra that access to funding mechanisms for innovation are key for European SMEs and entrepreneurs. My point is that there is also a need to assess research and pilots' results in order to scale-up results, exchange best practices and focus on aspects that could be improved.
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David Osimo's picture

Europe is not great when it comes to commercializing research: that's a well known story. What is less known, and more interesting, is that today it's not just about IF, but WHEN. Especially in ICT, when innovation is fast evolving, time-to-market is one of the most important competitive advantages. We live in the times of open innovation, when research is often carried out outside companies and traded (see OECD Open Innovation report). My impression is that our research centres are not just reluctant, but slow when it comes to commercialising research. The process is too bureaucratic. And this slowness is a bottleneck to the competitive advantage of EU companies. Can we have a fast-track to technology transfer? But this is just an impression: what do other, more expert, people think?
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Gianluigi Cuccureddu's picture

Dear David, I agree, we've talked with quite the public entities that need to drive regional economic boosts, that commercial research is difficult and lacks power. Time to market but also the applicability of research in practical solutions to needs can be better.
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