Knowledge Transfer Initiative of the Year Finalists 2016

Maynooth University - Knowledge Transfer Maturity Framework

Maynooth University leads an Enterprise Ireland funded technology transfer (TTSI) consortium with partners Waterford IT, Athlone IT, and IT Carlow. Management of the consortium means using different levels of assistance and development or training at each partner site. To help define the evolution of Knowledge Transfer/Technology Transfer quality of each the consortium partners and the consortium as a whole, Maynooth University Commercialisation Office has taken from the ideas of “Technology Readiness Level” and “Maturity Frameworks” used in several industries to define a “Knowledge Transfer Maturity Framework”. This framework helps to establish each of the consortium member’s current development stage, what has been achieved and what needs to be accomplished in order to move up the maturity (or efficiency, or value) curve. It also helps define the consortium’s strategy for Knowledge Transfer/Technology Transfer advancement in terms of key target areas, how deficiencies are identified and subsequent improvements are developed. The Maturity Framework maps each of the relevant KT activities undertaken. As such, the consortium-wide shared strategy is designed for each of the partners to move up the maturity curve, in each aspect of Knowledge Transfer/Technology Transfer.  Knowing the current quality maturity position of each partner and having a framework for development is the key to this novel quality management tool that allows the Maynooth Consortium to advance its maturity and perform at a higher overall standard. 

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland - Building a Knowledge Transfer Culture

In 2014 RCSI launched its new Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) incorporating commercialisation and industry engagement functions with the Research Office.  A new team was recruited with the goal of working with RCSI PIs to ensure that RCSI research is given the best opportunity to make economic and societal impact through the provision of customer-orientated industry engagement and research commercialisation services to researchers and industry partners. The new team quickly recognised a step-change was required in RCSI researcher engagement in knowledge transfer activities in order to achieve this goal. Building a Culture of Knowledge Transfer at RCSI” was a new strategic initiative launched by the team in 2015 to bring about this change.   The initiative centered on three thematic areas, namely (1) empowering RCSI Researchers (2) recognising and celebrating research commercialisation and industry engagement success and (3) streamlining research commercialisation and the industry engagement process.  The impact of this strategic initiative is profound against the baseline. It is evidenced by RCSI having exceeded the 2015 targets that it set for knowledge transfer by between two and three-fold.  Industry income has increased more than four-fold from 2014 levels to €1.2M (cash and in-kind), licence option and assignment agreements increased over four-fold and industry agreements increased seven-fold in the same period.  Over three-quarters of the RCSI PI base are now being actively supported by the team.

Trinity College Dublin - Innovation Model for New Ventures 

With a legacy of successful spin-outs dating back to the 1980s, Trinity recognised that the next spin-out had no greater chance of success than the last and that there was a need to establish a structured, holistic approach for start-ups, campus companies, and spin-ins to enable inventors and entrepreneurs have the best chance of success.  To enable this vision Trinity developed a strategic partnership with Dublin BIC and jointly created a new role of ‘Start-up Development Manager’.  A full review of the journey from idea to new enterprise was undertaken and interlocking supports that cover the full range of entrepreneurial challenges have been established. Trinity now has a robust innovation model that includes a structured pipeline and staged supports including IDF review by external mentors; a “brain trust” of industry experts for early engagement to advise and consult before and during feasibility and commercialisation award activities; an Entrepreneurs-in-Residence programme; a new accelerator programme (LaunchLabs); a new co-working space for new enterprises; a Trinity Angel Syndicate to fund the trough of disillusionment and the establishment of a seed fund in partnership with UCD. This initiative has transformed the way in which Trinity supports new company formation and engages with the entrepreneurship environment. Trinity is now externally connected and focussed internally on providing significant supports and a structured learning approach which ensures each new company has an improved chance of success.

Find the complete list of finalists for 2016 here.