A strong biotech faculty can earn more licence revenue for research institutes than anything else: just one of the findings from a new study by UNU-MERIT on the knowledge transfer activities of public research organisations (PROs), which features in the Norwegian Research Barometer 2015.
This new study includes a survey conducted in the autumn of 2014 on the knowledge transfer activities of PROs in 2012 and 2013. In total, 128 knowledge transfer offices (KTOs) were surveyed and, with 97 replies to both the ASTP-Proton and UNU-MERIT surveys, the response rate was 75.8%.
The main aim was to compare the activities of commercialising public-funded research in Norway to five ‘barometer’ countries, namely: Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden.
At national level, Danish PROs surpassed their opposite numbers in terms of patent applications, licence agreements and licence income. Swedish PROs performed best on patent grants and start-ups, while Finnish PROs led in terms of invention disclosures. These results were based on standardised performance measures for 2013 per 1,000 research staff.
Overall, the study saw a substantial increase for Danish PROs in turning research results into commercial value, particularly via licence agreements and licence income. The same held for Austria, but to a lesser extent. “These results are encouraging,” said co-author Nordine Es-Sadki; “a previous study found European PROs to be less effective than US counterparts at turning research results into commercial values.”
In terms of thematic results for 2013, biomedical intellectual property was by far the largest generator of licence revenue, at 83.3%, followed by ICT at 11.2%. Additional data, including results for the years 2010 and 2011, can be found in this Excel file. Survey results have also been used in a recent working paper, which analysed the impact of regional environment on the knowledge transfer outcomes of PROs.
Flickr / Bilfinger SE