Chair of Praxis/Unico high-lights its roles –
as sharing best practice and training
One of the biggest issues for Technology Transfer Offices is that senior academics do not value the staff of Technology Transfer Offices as highly as they do corresponding experts from outside the university. Among the more useful advisers for their academics who have commercialisable IP or business opportunities are university alumni who are in industry, especially those with knowledge of markets and marketing, technologies, strategy, and finance, and those with previous experience or extensive connections in the business world.
To have the expertise to identify or to support opportunities for commercialisation or help them to find funders or partners in the corporate world would require a range of knowledge and experience in all sorts of fields well beyond the capabilities of most Technology Transfer Offices.
Collaborations such as the IP Group, N8 and SetSquared have taken on these roles. Smaller universities with less of a portfolio of potential spin-outs do not have the funds to nurse them to the buy-out stage; so they need to work together.
Praxis/Unico has two main roles: high-lighting best practice and training new entrants; and judging by the way overseas organisations find their way to it for help and advice, it has much to offer. The revival of its Directors Forum is an important step in advancing these roles; and provides opportunities to capture and disseminate best practice.