Commercialization of outputs and Proof-of-Concept

The 7th CTT workshop was organized on 1st and 2nd July by the Science and Technology Park of Palacký University in Olomouc under the auspices of Transfera.cz. The informal entrée took place on the eve of the event in the centre of the Haná metropolis. The official programme then began on the first day of the holiday with a presentation of examples of good transfer practice.

Pokusnice

Four technologies that were successfully commercialized were presented by the host UPOL. One example for all. Pokusnice, an app for primary and secondary school chemistry teachers to help them prepare for lessons more quickly and easily. The app includes databases of proven teaching experiments, plus recommendations based on currently available chemicals and lab equipment. The ignorance of the market, the lack of a distribution channel and the inadequate staff capacity of the transfer agent eventually led to the sale of the licence. After a series of negotiations, it was acquired by BePositive. The company now supplies educational software to schools and has taken over the management of the system. “This was a very interesting project for us, which resulted in a successful commercialisation thanks to the facilities we have at our disposal as a business incubator. The licensing partner is a company that started its business in VTP UP and thanks to that we were very close to it. So it proved again how important it is to build the whole ecosystem and that with such a background the transfer is always a little closer to success,” adds Petr Suchomel, business development manager, VTP UPOL.

Kraken

The story of the transfer of Kraken, a tool for milling hard-to-machine materials, made by 3D metal printing technology, was presented by colleagues from the University of Technology in Pilsen. At the International Engineering Fair 2018 in Brno, this newly developed cutting tool was awarded the Gold Medal as the best exhibit of the fair in the category Component Innovation in Engineering. KRAKEN (milling cutter with spacers) – its design and production technology, has already been patented by the Industrial Property Office and registered with the European Patent Office.

How to go commercial

Full commercialization, integrative commercialization and commercial support, or three views on one problem, was presented by Michal Mokroš from VŠB Ostrava. According to him, what are the principles of successful technology commercialization? “The key to commercialisation is to pinpoint the benefits of the technology. Based on the named advantages, assess their added value and try to quantify it. With the originators, explain everything, you should gain confidence that the team that brought the technology to life is ready to take it a step further and offer the result to the market. Compare the price level of your technology and competing technologies that solve the same problem, and be sure to check the state of the intellectual property protection of the result,” Mokroš summarised.

Trust above all

Otakar Fojt’s lecture Building Cooperation with British Partners was also engaging and informative. Fojt works as a scientific attaché at the British Embassy in Prague. He lectures on innovation, technology transfer, scientific programmes, policies and strategies in the Czech Republic and abroad. He is also the principal inventor and co-inventor of two US patents.

 “International cooperation can help find solutions that you can’t think of at home. But it is based on relationships between people and the trust that is built,” Fojt said, continuing, “seeing through someone else’s eyes is more than enlightening. It cultivates a perspective on many things and grows our understanding of others. Why share experiences? Also because finding your own ways, without foreign knowledge and experience, can be slow and may not work.” And what does he consider the success of such collaboration? According to Foyt, it’s making the most of sharing knowledge from international collaboration at home.

At the end of the lecture he added information about the new British grant agency ARIA. It will start its operation on 1 January 2022 with a subsidy of 200 million CZK. GBP 200 per year. It will bring a new approach to project selection, more risk and great added value.

Next year again

And as the 7th CTT workshop began, it ended, with an informal meeting that offered a space to finish and discuss what there was no time for before. Thanks to the colleagues from the Science and Technology Park of Palacký University in Olomouc for the quality program and flawless organization.

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