Technology Transfer Innovation Schemes in Latin America
We live in an age shaped by processes that are changing the global economy, repositioning countries and shifting the balance of power between economic blocs and between developed and emerging economies. The changing macro and microenvironment effected the HEIs and the role of technology transfer, as well.
The ability to innovate is a critical source of competitive advantage for economies. Universities play a pivotal role in the process of innovation. Traditionally the technology transfer function of HEIs aims to connect research & development with economy. While the beneficiaries of the technology revolution are the developed countries, emerging economies (in the most countries in Latin America) often face challenges in introducing the regulations, policies and good practices that consolidate these areas.
TETRIS is Erasmus+ project, aiming to improve the level of institutionalization of the ‘third mission’ of the partner universities. The development of innovation schemes at institutional level will facilitate and encourage university-industry partnerships. Universities are vital components in innovation environments and more systematic efforts are required to unlock the commercial value that exists within academic discoveries.
Based on the needs identified, TETRIS’s general objective is contributing to build trust in academic research and in university-industry collaboration by improving the effectiveness of Technology Transfer activities at the Partner Country HEIs. Capacities will be enhanced on three complementary levels, thereby addressing major difficulties identified in the target Latin-American countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama:
- Institutional policies on IP and technology transfer activities enabling the ‘third mission’.
- Institutional set-up and mechanisms for technology transfer and innovation from universities to industry.
- Regional and transnational cooperation among the Partner Country Institutions and their local innovation ecosystems.
- To assess the Technology Transfer and Innovation practices in Partner Country HEIs and to identify areas for improvement;
- To develop a Technology Transfer Innovation Scheme for institutions in partner countries based on the existing best practices in the European Research Area. This includes establishing an appropriate organisational and operational framework and an over-arching ecosystem;
- To implement customized pilot models at partner country institutions and evaluate the performance of technology transfer and innovation;
- To disseminate, share and exchange experiences, best practices and knowledge gathered in managing technology transfer and innovation management to improve research and innovation cooperation between countries of Latin America and Europe;
- To enforce capacity building by developing human resources: this will take the form of peer-learning and trainings on selected topics.
The intended holistic evaluation approach enabled target groups of university management, TTO staff and academics to have a detailed overview and measurable indicators of technology transfer activities. The outcome of the assessment is a baseline for further capacity building activities planned in the project. Accurate diagnosis is of utmost importance for effective modernization actions.
The project provides a set of reference models and scenarios, and each partner institution designs the implementation based on the institution’s unique characteristics. The reference model also allows institutions to have a clear view of the different stages of maturity and the associated organizational and operational schemes.
The pilot implementation and evaluation lead to an improved and customized organizational and operational framework of the TT units. Both internal (with the research community) and external (with industrial partners and the ecosystem) collaborations have intensified. Transparent operations, highly qualified workforce make the Technology Transfer and Innovation Unit a catalyst for collaboration between universities and industry, leading to numerous joint activities (contracted research, business services, professional development).
In this regard, each partner country institution has created a portfolio of intellectual property assets that can be the subject of future regional and transnational cooperation. The workshops and conferences provided an opportunity to reach out and disseminate project results, as well as to carry out technology marketing activities.
TETRIS advocates a common approach to capacity development and partner know-how building to ensure that training and knowledge are updated and accessible to target groups.
More about TETRIS: https://www.project-tetris.eu/home