The Fall Meeting of 2015 took place from the 11th to the 13th of November in Amsterdam, the largest city in the Netherlands with just under one million inhabitants.
Working together, sharing experiences was the title of ASTP-Proton’s Fall Meeting. The theme was used before during the Fall Meeting in Prague and was perceived as a great success. It was an effort to share, integrate and work together, to co-create in a new meeting format together ‘with our members, for our members’ of the technology transfer community.
Some of the topics discussed were:
How to market our inventions and projects to industry
The topics of the programme that were discussed were for most of the participants, not new all. But all of the topics, or at least a part, are in our daily business. But the profession is progressing and only together can we and will we share experiences and best practices, and learn from each other, thus opening the opportunity to achieve more than each one of us could by themselves.
Apart from the Fall Meeting itself, there were additional useful activities for our members, which included two masterclasses, a NAAC meeting and other networking opportunities, such as the Knowledge Stock Exchange, the welcome reception, the European forum for TTO directors, the conference dinner and the ASTP-Proton morning run through the Vondelpark.
This fall meeting had a combination of presentations and workshops to enable discussions on relevant topics. We worked together on a best practice guide for spin off creation, on how to educate university management, funding opportunities for proof of concepts and spin offs.
Next to the programme on Thursday and Friday, ASTP-Proton organized 2 half-day parallel masterclasses on the Wednesday, followed by a one and half hour of guided tour around the city, a welcome reception at Karolinium, Univerzita Karlova v Praze and the European forum for knowledge transfer directors.
Prague is the capital and the largest city of the Czech Republic and has always been a political, cultural and economic centre of central Europe. The extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1992. Prague is a very popular tourist destination with about 4 million international visitors per year.
Several new additions to the programme to foster collaboration were offered, such as dedicating the third track specially for national networks, a Directors’ Forum Dinner on Wednesday evening and the Knowledge Stock Exchange (KSE) on Friday. The KSE parallel sessions allowed participants to determine their own agenda. You could take part in one-on-one meetings; share, discuss and find a solution to your problem with your fellow peers in initiative sharing; or hear about new products and services that might be useful for your KTO in the information corner. The conference offered enough networking opportunities for everyone at the fall conference, whether you are a beginner in technology transfer or a seasoned professional.
On the Wednesday, the National Association Advisory Committee (NAAC) was officially launched. The NAAC offers a perfect channel for dissemination of best practices and community building among national networks in Europe. All national networks were invited to the fall conference in Warsaw.
The conference was held at the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews. The Museum stands in what was once the heart of Jewish Warsaw – an area which the Nazis turned into the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. This significant location, coupled with the Museum’s proximity to the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, demanded extreme thoughtfulness on the part of building’s designers, who carefully crafted a structure that has become a symbol of the new face of Warsaw.
A peek inside the tech transfer operations of Stanford – Kirsten Leute
First parallel session
Track I: Equity management: getting and managing shares of spin-off companies – Mathieu Coutet and Rudi Cuyvers
Track II: How to become ideal partners for industry – Maria Tavares and Bo Stenhuus
Track III: Dos and Don’ts: challenges and opportunites in a national tech transfer network – what may or may not work and why? – David Secher, Carme Verdaguer, Regina Summer and Christophe Haunold
Second parallel session
Track I: Setting up a consultancy unit? – Karen Laigaard and David Secher
Track II: Strategic partnerships: who should be your partner and why? – Simon Gray and Günther Wellenzohn
Track III: Collaborating with industry: how can national networks support TTO’s in attracting and managing a collaboration with our most relevant stakeholders? – Maria Theresa Norn and Jean-Benoit Lhoest
Setting an agenda for action – then getting the hell out of the office – Jeff Skinner
Third parallel session
Track I: Patient related tech transfer – Laura MacDonald and Florence Ghrenassia
Track II: Open lab: how to get more out of the collaboration of an academic lab joint by a products manufacturer? – Stéphane Delalande and Clement Goossens
Track III: Influencing decision making: what will be the role of national networks in lobbying and making things happen at a macro level – John Smith and Raffaele Buompane
Fourth parallel session
Track I: Working with students in creating spin-offs – Maria Jacobsen Lauvȧs
Track II: Working with students in the TTO – Marta Catarino
Track III: Sharing best practices with your researchers – Matthew Johnson and Peter Buchberger
Summary session, general view from a senior TTO – Andy Sierakowski
FALL MEETING 2012, LYON
Business models in and for technology transfer
The fall meeting took place on 25 & 26 October 2012 in Lyon, France, themed “Business models in and for technology transfer”. The key to a successful business model starts with understanding what the different types are and their key elements and which one works best for you.
The sessions were focused on subjects such as:
Commercialising know-how via consulting services?
Which methods/tools/services can be used to make the TT managers life easier
Experiences to be shared in and outside Europe
The conference ended with a plenary on rethinking our own business model.
In addition to the traditional parallel session on Thursday and Friday, two parallel sessions were added on the Wednesday afternoon, the N3 meeting (Network of National Networks) and a workshop on Proof of Concept.
Lyon, France’s Capital of Lights, has been a centre of importance in trade and science since its origin dating back to the Gallo-Roman era. The second largest city of France is home to industries that have helped shape our modern world. From the silk industry, the mechanical engineering and car industries (construction of the 1st car by Marius Berliet), invention of the Cinema by the Lumière Brothers and today home to the many key chemical, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, Lyon continues to prosper and innovate. However, innovation cannot prosper without research.
Lyon, the most important French University site outside the Paris region, is also a centre for research in Europe with the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Neuroscience Research Centre to name but a few research centres located in the region.
The national networks meeting was a follow up on that previous years initiative for national networks from across Europe. One of the goals for the initiative was to provide the different networks with an arena where they could exchange ideas and programmes and launch joint efforts that would ultimately benefit the growing TTO community across Europe. The other goals was to collect evidence on the important impact our profession had on the economy and society so far. The information was used to influence policy making in the future.
Policy makers across Europe struggle with this question often. In this discussion we provide three examples – Christian Stein, Sylke Meyns and Anders Haugland
Industry collaborations within the field of humanities and social sciences – Paul Iske
Setting up proof of concept funds for academia. Different types of POC funds, what works for which field – Christian Stein
R&D in collaboration with companies – Phil Clare
The last lecture: a successful company founder tells his story – Anders Haugland
FALL SEMINAR 2009, KRAKOW
Challenges and opportunities in technology transfer
On 29 & 30 October 2009 we organized the fall seminar in the beautiful and historical city of Krakow, Poland.
The fall seminar consisted of two days of intense plenaries, sessions, and discussions on important and pertinent knowledge and technology transfer topics. It was a unique opportunity to network with technology transfer experts from all over Europe, with a special focus on our host country Poland.
As always we strived to build our programme around topics which can inspire and assist us in our daily lives as technology transfer professionals. Our three tracks dealt with technology transfer skills, partners in our daily business and evergreens in technology transfer where we have identified issues of particular interest to the community. The plenary sessions in the mornings covered more general aspects and the conference ended with a more informal panel discussion on “Screwing Up for Success”.
We attracted more than 25 international speakers with quite diverse backgrounds in academia, industry and technology transfer. We are extremely grateful to them for coming to Krakow and sharing their experiences with us.
A particular focus at this seminar was given to the “people” issue: how to build a personal network, how to manage the very entrepreneurial researcher who engages in many ventures, professionally and privately, finding the right people for spin-outs, and how to deal with difficult people. These sessions focused on aspects of technology transfer which are not always contained in university policies but which nevertheless represent an important part of our jobs.
Experts discussed patenting and IPR issues from different angles. The latest in the patent law was presented as well as issues surrounding enforcement of patent rights in case of infringement. Ways in which export regulations can put an end to the perfect commercialisation process were presented to us, perhaps not an issue that many of us think about very often. Furthermore, we discussed licensing issues from many angles such as project management, dirty little tricks in negotiations and how to extend the royalty streams beyond the usual patent term.
Our two keynote speakers, Piotr Moncarz, corporate vice president of Exponent and consulting professor at Stanford university together with Robert Marshall, former director of Cambridge Enterprise, brought
together the economic realities of company location and the more people-related (but not less complicated!) people issues.
The fall meeting programme itself combined with a unique opportunity to get a taster for Krakow’s richness in history, culture and technology development were a success.
A dedicated track covered the issues related to certification and regulatory issues not only found in drugs and medical device but also in food. Though most of us do not actively engage in this area, a basic understanding of the main aspects of these very important steps towards commercialization of research was becoming a pre-requisite for successful licensing strategies.
For those that were newer entrants to the field, or would like to fresh up some items, we provided an introductory track which focuses on the licensing process, an important topic for all of us. We are grateful to Karen Hersey and Morag MacDonald who brought an updated version of their acclaimed introductory track presented at our annual conference in Budapest in 2004.
Our speakers came from a diverse range of backgrounds, institutions and industries and we are enormously grateful to them all for their generosity in giving time and sharing knowledge with us all. The opening plenary speaker was the Former President of LES France, Frédéric Caillaud, who is an expert in licensing trends and was (at that time) leading a committee of IP experts in charge of the preparation of recommendations to the French Ministry of Industry in order to speed-up the development of a more efficient IP market. The speaker at the Friday morning plenary session was Karl Koster, Director of Corporate Relations of MIT. Karl has tremendous experience in dealing with companies interested in interacting with public research institutions and helped us understand what the key drivers are to establish and maintain long term partnerships.
Preceding the conference we offered an optional social programme on the Wednesday afternoon with a visit to the Polytechnic City of Innovation, and a guided tour through the city of Valencia.
Valencia, the third largest city of Spain, is well known for its long history, beautiful buildings and famous paella. Some of you also may know it for its more recent landmarks, like the City of Arts, all to underline the great effort the city nowadays takes in innovation. This dynamic and inspirational atmosphere contributed to an enjoyable and memorable meeting – leaving participants with fresh insights and new colleagues from across the European technology transfer community.
As usual, the fall seminar had a smaller setting than the annual conference. This helped to create an intimate atmosphere with a select audience. It also provided for ample time for interaction and networking.
What companies really value in their interaction with MIT – Karl Koster
Fourth parallel session
Track I: Pitfalls in licensing – II – Karen Hersey and Morag Macdonald
Track II: Web-based facilities (IP portals & exchanges) – Christophe Sevrain and Adrian Sigrist
Track III: Medical devices: regulatory – Corinne Lebourgeois
Fifth parallel session
Track I: Good management through enforceable royalty obligations – Karen Hersey and Morag Macdonald
Track II: Structural investors – Tony Raven and Charles Tavner
Track III: Medical devices: reimbursement – Corinne Lebourgeois
The nine points – Karl Koster, Kevin Cullen, Jon Wulff Petersen and Tony Raven
FALL SEMINAR 2007, VENICE
Industry meets academia
On 18 & 19 October 2007 ASTP organized the fall seminar in the Venice, Italy.
This former industrial area, famous for its trading and commercial activities over many centuries, was the ideal setting for the central theme of this fall seminar: “Industry meets Academia”.
During this fall seminar, ASTP aimed to stimulate a more broad-based, ‘intimate’ and open discussion between technology-intensive businesses and technology transfer managers. We set up three different tracks:
A track with sessions devoted to different industry segments
We set up an entire track with five different sessions, each devoted exclusively to one industry segment:
healthcare and consumer products,
and food industry.
A second track focused on the transaction itself. Here experts from both sides told about their experiences on how it is to actually do the transaction: from tracing down the inventions, over pricing the offering and finally negotiating the deal.
We also had an introductory track, for those that were new to the field or wanted to fresh up their knowledge. This track introduced us to the art and complexities of structuring and drafting collaboration agreements: experts from across Europe enlightened us on the essences of CDA’s & MTA’s, Research Agreements, Clinical Trials, etc.
Our speakers came from a diverse range of backgrounds, institutions and industries and we are enormously grateful to them all for their generosity in giving time and sharing knowledge with us all. For our plenary sessions, we welcomed two excellent speakers: Leo Roodhart from Shell International and Ron Botham from the University of Glasgow.
Additionally, we arranged a masterclass prior to the main event, designed to give us insight into the minds of early-stage venture capital investors. But for those who wish to start the event in a more relaxed way, we offered a full social programme to enable participants to mingle and exchange experiences and issues with old or new colleagues as well as with industry players in the wonderful atmosphere of the historic centre of Venice.
The seminar was organized in the mainland area of Venice at the VEGA Science and Technology Park, situated a short boat ride from the tourist heart of Venice.
However, we believed the theme to be a good and timely one – since it was our observation that much of the technology that is transferred to industry did not follow the linear ‘invent-patent-market-license’ path. Rather it was taken up by industry partners in a more iterative way, often as a result of existing collaborations and joint ventures with businesses – sometimes even without the technology transfer manager being involved in the early stages. We should not work against these more complex mechanisms – rather recognise their power and work with them.
In addition to the topics mentioned above, the programme included:
An ‘introductory’ track for newer entrants to the field. This was structured as a hands-on interactive team exercise, based on a technology transfer case study that takes participants through the process of evaluation, strategy formation, marketing and licensing negotiation.
A track dealing with complex issues in technology transfer – drawing on cases provided and led by senior ASTP members.
We welcomed two plenary speakers – John Tyler, General Counsel at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in the US, and Frederic Caillaud, Licensing and Business Development Manager at L’Oréal and President of LES France. We are grateful to LES France for having fielded a number of speakers at our conference.
In addition to the formal program we had a full social program designed to enable you to mix and exchange experiences and issues with each other.
The Sophia Antipolis region is renowned for its excellent science-based and density of technology-intensive businesses as well as its beautiful surroundings and climate and hence a perfect location for our fall seminar.
On 13 & 14 October 2005 the fall seminar took place in Athens, Greece.
The conference programme followed the now familiar pattern; a mixture of thought-provoking plenaries, presentations and discussions on issues that affect us all. Our speakers came from varied backgrounds in industry, finance and the technology transfer community. However, they were all seasoned practitioners – able to speak with authority born of many years of experience in the field.
We welcomed as our plenary speakers: John Bates from London Business School and Alex Brabers from GIMV.
The conference was split into three tracks:
The first track was educational in nature and was targeted at newer entrants to the field. For this seminar we focused on the ‘upstream’ part of our business – deciding when to patent, ensuring that IP is unencumbered and dealing with complex ownership issues.
The second track covered a range of issues and topics meant for more senior technology transfer managers, including sessions on Inventor reward, PR, and pipeline IP strategy.
The third track, entitled ‘new age spin-outs’, examined different ways of financing early stage ventures without relying on venture capital – our common experience being that venture capital is scarce, forcing us to find alternative ways of getting ventures off the ground.
As a community and profession we have a great deal to learn from each other – advice to seek, experience to share, deals to trumpet. We therefore built in ample time during the social programme, between sessions and over lunch to allow you to meet each other.
What are we doing here? – Tim Cook and Koenraad Debackere
License deals you shouldn’t do – Jeff Skinner and Mark Anderson
Corporate venture funds – Paul Morris and Anders Brännstörm
Fifth parallel session
Licensing case study – Randolph Noelle
This house believes that Technology Transfer should be driven entirely by profit – Koenraad Debackere and Tim Cook
FALL SEMINAR 2004, LISBON
Creating business out of science
On 14 & 15 October 2004 the fall seminar took place in Lisbon, Portugal.
In this hands-on seminar we focused on the businesses that arise out of scientific research. Not only the business development within or around universities, but also the ones that universities help to create together with or within industry.
The seminar focused on the business opportunities that can be created by drawing on a university’s – science ‘assets’, specifically:
technologies that can be licensed or commercialized via spin-outs, and
the expertise within academic research groups on which industry can draw through research collaboration and joint ventures
We invited a number of speakers from industry to tell us how it is from the ‘customer’ perspective.
For the third time in a row we offered an introductory course, this time on spin-outs. During five sessions we discussed a broad range of topics that TTOs (either those who have recently taken up the profession on tech transfer as well as the more experienced who would like to freshen up their knowledge) encounter when spinning out from universities. The course was delivered by experiencedpractitioners who illustrated the sessions with specific examples and from their mistakes as well as their successes
The seminar ended with a role play on the negotiation of equity, as TTO’s are often caught in the middle of this process, causing divisions between the university, the investors and the founding academics.
For the first time we also offered an introductory course on Intellectual Property and Patent Rights for those who just started their profession on the interface between science and industry.
Bologna is located in the Emilia-Romagna province, an excellent region for innovative start-ups, awarded as the ‘Region of Excellence’ in 2001 and renowned for its delicious Italian spices and tasty dishes.
The city offered the right ambience to share world class expertise on IPR between university and industry among speakers and participants.
The conference started with an overview of the management of start-up creation in more than 60 technology transfer office in Europe. The closing plenary of the conference was an interactive forum discussion where key-players shared their experiences and lessons learned from previous mistakes in “classic things that go wrong”. Each session was followed by interactive discussions with the experts.
The conference was attended by both technology transfer professionals as well as starters. All other involved parties (policy makers, investors, industrial partners, legal and financial advisors) were invited to benefit from this unique gathering of worldwide expertise in this specific discipline.
The seminar took place in the impressive main building of the prestigious Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), where many famous scientists have made their first steps towards international recognition and success. The northern part of Switzerland is known for its stimulating and supporting atmosphere for young entrepreneurs. It was this atmosphere that we wanted to share during the conference and social programme.
Patenting and licensing within universities had proven to be not only technically involved but raised many complex issues. As the ASTP Survey of 2001 had shown, the experiences and aims within European universities differed strongly. Therefore we decided to select contributions not only from universities but also from experienced patent attorneys and other law professionals. The programme brought news to tech transfer professionals who had just started their profession, as well as to professional with long-standing experience. At the end of the conference a role play helped reinforce what was discussed during the programme.
The conference was held at the Campus of the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, an innovative and progressive institution just outside Barcelona. Next to this attractive location Barcelona was chosen for its warm atmosphere at the Ramblas and its famous cultural spots created by Gaudí, Dalí, Picasso and many other artists. Therefore a combined social programme at Wednesday afternoon was organized during which we visited an innovative Incubator followed by a Gaudí-tour. This inspiring surrounding created the right atmosphere to combine technical education and social interaction.
FALL SEMINAR 2000, LONDON
Financing science-based start-up companies
ASTP organized a two-day fall conference on 14 & 15 December 2000 in London, United Kingdom.
The conference’s theme was “Financing science-based start-up companies”. It addressed all major aspects related with each stage of the start-up process. Unique to the conference was the fact that each of the topics was approached from two different angles: the technology providers and the venture capital investors.
In each session the viewpoint of an experienced technology provider was exposed to the viewpoint of a seasoned venture capital investors, and vice versa. This confrontation of ideas generated novel insights into the do’s and don’ts in the start-up process. Moreover, the sessions were highly interactive. Special sessions were organized to address specific, relevant questions from the audience and to discuss the most important issues, with widespread relevance.
The conference focused on the creation of high-tech start-ups in Europe, including the fields of life sciences, engineering and IT. Participants were professionals involved with the creation of start-ups in Europe, both young and experienced professionals from the investment community and tech transfer managers from universities and research institutes. The conference offered a unique crossroad for this blend of experts to meet and exchange ideas.