You want to better exploit the intellectual capital of your University(ies) and Research Centre. But how?
The number of TTOs has sharply increased worldwide . These provide services for facilitating the commercial exploitation of R&D projects and the knowledge transfer. The performance related to the patent exploitation needs to be improved, as demonstrated by the small economic value created so far from licensing activity.
So far a holistic framework for supporting the IP exploitation chain for proof-of-concept investments and for the patent utilization is missing. There are some minor programmes to support young entrepreneurs, but such government grants cover only 30-80% of the overall patent application costs. Depending on the cost category (e.g. patent registration costs, legal advice, etc.) sums of €3.000 to €35.000 are offered to applicants. These funds, however, are not sufficient to give a real and significant aid to sustain the financial needs of a novel venture.
In the meantime, VC funds are unlikely to give equity financing to grow and idea from the seed to the proof-of-concept phase. Most early stage investors only invest in companies if there is a patented and a proven technology.
Concerning the support services in the technology transfer, several initiatives have been implemented within TTOs or regional measures also with successful results. Even though TTO provide services for IP advice and mentoring for spin-offs, practice reveals a clear need to push “the patent commercialization” with a specialized service, such as IP brokerage and support to novel business ideas.
The financing gap.
There is a need to fill the funding gap between the “R&D >> proof of concept >> prototyping”. A significant national financing tool to support the technology transfer process is still missing. There are several minor regional and local funding opportunities, but these are too small in nature to give real support and guidance.
The main financing gaps are:
- The need for seed financing funds (to sustain the inventors in turning patented/patentable ideas into a sellable product);
- In the IP commercialization process.
The growing number of granted patents and high-tech companies confirms positive market outlook for the exploitation of knowledge. But how? Science fund will provide an effective providing the right amount of financial resources and developing a better understanding and a positive feeling among researchers towards knowledge exploitation.
Claudio Semeraro, CEO PharmEste:“ The company is reaching all the objectives reported in the business plan, thanks to the innovative research line, to a team with a consolidated industrial experience and to the support of a group of Italian and international investors”