To become an increasingly competitive knowledge-based economy, Europe must not only improve the production of knowledge, but also its dissemination and exploitation.
All research builds on former work, and depends on scientists’ possibilities to access and share information. The digital age represents a great opportunity for the dissemination of research results. To ensure exploitation, effective knowledge transfer between those who do research, particularly universities and public research organisations (PROs), and those who transform it into products and services, namely the industry/SMEs is essential.
Knowledge sharing has been addressed by DG Research in two strands. The first is the Open Access pilot. The second is the Commission Recommendation on the management of intellectual property in knowledge transfer activities and code of practice for universities and other public research organisations
Open access means a free access to information via the Internet to everyone to read and/or use. It is an important tool for the dissemination of research results in order to maximise their potential exploitation. The Open Access pilot based on theCommission Communication on scientific information in the digital age: access, dissemination and preservation, which improves the access to the results of FP7 projects, was launched in August 2008.
Intellectual property and knowledge transfer
Proper management of intellectual property is critical to ensure that both parties get the most out of any knowledge transfer activity. Following the Publication of the ERA Green Paper in April 2007, a Communication titled Improving knowledge transfer between research institutions and industry across Europe including voluntary guidelines for universities and other research institutions to improve their links with industry across Europe was issued.
The Communication on knowledge transfer was followed up with aCommission Recommendation on the management of intellectual property in knowledge transfer activities (the Recommendation) and the Code of Practice for universities and public research organisations (PROs) (the Code of Practice), which were adopted in April 2008.
The Recommendation and the Code of Practice offer a coherent framework for the management of IP in agreement between PROs and the private sector, in order to promote knowledge transfer at national, European and international levels. It comprises a set of key policy recommendations to Member States, a Code of Practice for PROs, and an annex containing examples of good practice from several Member States.