Knowledge Transfer Study concluded – final report online

The Knowledge Transfer Study 2010-2012 is now concluded and the final report is available for free download at the European Commission’s site as well as the study’s homepage . empirica co-ordinated the Knowledge Transfer Study on behalf of the European Commission’s General Directorate Research and Innovation.

The purpose of the Knowledge Transfer Study 2010-2012 was to help set up a monitoring and reporting system to follow up and promote implementation of the Commission’s 2008 Recommendation on the management of intellectual property in knowledge transfer activities and Code of Practice for universities and other public research organisations (PROs). The study comprised the following activities: Monitoring implementation of the Recommendation in 39 European countries; collecting information on the performance of almost 500 universities and other PROs in knowledge transfer; analysis of the implementation and impact of the Code of Practice for a sample of 322 universities and other PROs as well as 59 enterprises; conducting 15 experts workshops about current and emerging issues in knowledge transfer covering 38 European countries.

Key insights include among others the following:

  • On average, European countries have by now implemented the Recommendation approximately by half, and each country has an individual profile of implementation.
  • A comparison of performance of European public research organizations (PROs) with their American counterparts shows that the US is a more efficient producer of invention disclosures, patent applications and license income, while European performance exceeds that of the US for the number of start-ups and the number of license agreements.
  • Three of the principles of the Recommendation’s Code of Practice (CoP) are seemingly not widespread let alone generally accepted among PROs: the creation of coherent IP portfolios and patent/IP pools (CoP 5), the existence and publication of a licensing policy (CoP 11), and the publication of start-up policies (CoP 12). The other 15 principles are at least partially accepted and in the majority of surveyed institutions implemented.
  • The workshops revealed that even in countries that are further advanced in KT and IP management practice, there seems to be considerable room for further development of related strategies at universities and PROs. PRO’s IP management capacity and skills were found to be an issue in practically all European countries.

The study recommends that the EC should support the development of Green and White Papers on KT and IP management to start a Europe-wide consultation process among different stakeholders in governments, universities and other PROs, business associations and companies.