Supporting ‘Contract Research and Advisory services’
Technology Transfer from Public Research Organisations can take many forms. One of these is providing contract research and advisory services to external organisations. This could entail using specialised equipment and laboratories to carry out testing, possibly to a particular recognised standard; analysing and interpreting data and producing a written report; or using the core expertise of the research group to advise an external group on a new product or service.
In October 2017 EU4TECH launched its Component 2: Support for contract research and advisory services.
Under this component we are working with 15 Public Research Organisations from the region to help them undertake a ‘health-check’ of their present approach to contract research.
At the heart of our activity is understanding how and why each PROs wishes to develop this type of ‘technology transfer’ activity. We are looking at their resources, examining their constraints and trying to see how we can help them unlock their potential in a way that fits to the overall strategic plan for the University or Faculty. To help us make this rapid assessment we are using an online tool as well as face-to-face meetings.
We are also trying to interview one or more enterprise who has worked successful with each University. They represent the ‘Voice of the Customer’ (VoC). We want to understand what was most valuable for them from the experience and what might make it better in the future.
In November 2017 we started the process with the University of Montenegro who is our ‘pilot’. We followed quite quickly with the Universities in Sarajevo, Mostar and Banja Luka. This was then extended to UKIM, UDG and SEEU in FYROM as well as the University of Pristina in Kosovo*, and two PROs from Albania: The Agricultural University of Tirana and the University of Tirana. We then finished with the University of Belgrade (Faculties of Mechanical Engineering and Institute of Physics) and the Universities of Nis, Novi Sad and Kragujevac.
Participating faculties were invited to participate in the EU4TECH summer school on technology transfer (Podgorica June 2017) and to use the workshop to produce a strategic roadmap that reflects how they want to develop this type of activity over the next 3-5 years.