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About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 2706-2715
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
In recent years, industry-academia collaboration has been a subject of growing interest among both academics and practitioners. The relationship between industry and academic organizations has been evolving and taking new forms. Business and research oriented organizations are not isolated from each other and society, and boarders between different types of organizations have become more transparent. The collaboration has many forms, varying from buyer-supplier relations to joint projects in which researchers from industry and academia work closely together at common premises. Different forms of cooperation are beneficial for both parties in many ways.

Knowledge and technology transfer (KTT) between industry and academia is an important process with respect to industry-academia collaboration. There are several definitions for KTT, emphasizing different aspects of it, often depending on the background and the point of view of the author. In short, KTT is often understood as explicit and tacit sharing of knowledge and technologies (against some potential compensation) between organizations.

Innovation management has been widely studied from several perspectives and many models have been created. Its key activities have been tried to be defined, and both linear and recursive feedback-loop models have been presented. Adams et al. (2006) reviewed different models and compiled seven framework categories, with assigned innovation management measurement areas. However, as far as we know, there is no study about innovation management model designed for R&D projects involving big science centers, universities and companies.

In our paper, the current innovation processes and their management models within a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) project are studied and compared. The study examines questions such as: Which factors facilitate and complicate the recognition of innovations in the partner organizations, and how is the technology transfer process in the organization in question.

The study bases on semi-structured interviews carried out in two organizations: at an international research laboratory, and at a university, and analyzed with Atlas TI software. The results indicate the factors hindering knowledge and technology transfer such as lack of resources, lack of interest, and perception of technology transfer as secondary or unimportant issue. Factors facilitating technology transfer include for example high-level support (technology transfer perceived important in the organization strategy and culture, and also by the top management); team-leader support, support from peers and colleagues, willingness to share own knowledge and competence / personal values, as well as “curiosity” to work with industry/other partners, or positive attitude/ personal values. Moreover, the study shows that technology transfer is easier and more likely to happen if a researcher has previous knowledge on technology transfer or they have personal connections with someone working for a KTT unit.

This study is made as a part of the EU-funded PURESAFE (Preventing hUman intervention for increased Safety in inFrastructures emitting ionizing radiation) ITN project. One of the project’s goals is to create an innovation management model that can be used in the partner organizations and elsewhere, especially in FP7-funded project consortia, such as ITNs, whose main role is to train young researchers. This will be presented in the full paper.
Industry-academia cooperation, knowledge and technology transfer, innovation management, EU-project, Marie Curie, ITN, initial training network.