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Technology transfer case studies

Technology transfer case studies visual

The technology transfer case studies illustrate how patents facilitate technology transfer from R&D-conducting organisations and promote market success. The examples cover a range of economic sectors, countries and types of technology transfer. Each case study provides key takeaways for stakeholders in universities, other public research organisations and businesses. Overall, they demonstrate the importance of patents for technology transfer to start-ups, spin-offs and established companies.

Case studies

Select a company name to access more information and downloadable materials.

Oxeon (technical textiles – Sweden)

Textiles for the extreme

  • Combining private commercial mechanisms with informal university support can form a valuable public-private partnership for effective and efficient technology transfer.
  • Capturing niche markets to build sales and brand awareness is a useful entry into larger markets with higher entry barriers.
  • Involving top managers and inventors in the patent portfolio building process is vital to the strategic relevance of patent protection.
  • Consider patenting further along the value chain, and protecting applications of a technology close to the consumer market, to increase the scope of patent protection and build a comprehensive control position.

Technical field

Country

Main product

Technology transfer model

Technical textiles

Sweden

Spread tow

Reinforcements for different application areas

Public-private partnership; university spin-off

OxeonA new weaving method using composite material was the basis for the foundation of Swedish start-up Oxeon. IP rights for the technology helped to attract private investment. Oxeon also benefitted from business support from the Chalmers University of Technology entrepreneurship centre. This combination of private ownership and public innovation support led to the commercialisation of innovative textiles in the sports, industrial and aerospace sectors and the licensing of the weaving technology.

Type of material

Download

Technology transfer case study

Review article
From research to lift-off. Three EPO case studies (EN)

Podcast

Atlantic Therapeutics (medical devices – Ireland)

Improving quality of life

  • In academy-industry collaborations, recognise all partners' needs and define incentives and criteria so that the company can act as the commercial partner.
  • A joint ownership management agreement is necessary to facilitate later commercialisation if joint foreground IP is anticipated.
  • The deal structure should always be benchmarked so that it is fair and reasonable and reflects industry norms.
  • Agree on key development and commercial milestones early, to guide and facilitate market success, but be willing to amend as necessary.

Technical field

Country

Main product

Technology transfer model

Medical devices

Ireland

Novel training device for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence

Technology transfer office as facilitator for university spin-off

Atlantic therapeuticsResearch collaboration between University College Dublin (UCD) and Bio‑Medical Research (BMR) led to the development of a novel training device for the treatment of stress-induced urinary incontinence. UCD licensed the technology to BMR, which validated the device in clinical trials, secured regulatory approval and launched it in Europe. BMR established Atlantic Therapeutics as a spin-out company to secure investment to target the US market. Atlantic Therapeutics, its flagship product, offers patients safe, non-invasive and cost-effective treatment for stress-induced urinary incontinence, improving the quality of lives.

Type of material

Download

Technology transfer case study

Review article
From research to lift-off. Three EPO case studies (EN)
Podcast
Improving quality of life: a technology transfer case study

Dermis Pharma (medical equipment – Turkey)

Healing wounds

  • A well-defined IP policy, qualified commercialisation experts, the support of university administration and a widespread network are critical success factors for IP-based spin-off companies.
  • Spin-off and corporate partnership models are attractive approaches which can be widely implemented by technology transfer offices.
  • The EPO's IPscore tool makes it possible to assess, qualitatively analyse, graphically visualise and document the pros and cons of technologies and research projects.
  • Involving a global IP and licensing network can provide deeper insights and novel pathways for better IP strategy and IP management facilitating commercialisation.

Technical field

Country

Main product

Technology transfer model

Medical equipment

Turkey

Method to produce web-like structure for wound treatment that is both biocompatible and biodegradable

Technology transfer office support; university spin-off; partnership with big pharma company

DermalixThis product to treat open wounds, such as diabetic ulcers, is the result of R&D carried out by four female inventors in the laboratory of Turkey's Ege University. They secured IP protection early on, with the help of the local technology transfer office. However, initial attempts at commercialisation using licensing failed. A start-up acceleration programme encouraged the female inventor team to create the start-up Dermis Pharma. Thanks to its strong IP, the young company managed to secure the necessary venture capital funding for cost-intensive clinical trials and product development. An IP-assignment deal with a big Turkish pharma company sealed a corporate partnership and accelerated the commercialisation process.

Type of material

Download

Technology transfer case study

Review article
From research to lift-off. Three EPO case studies (EN)

Podcast

Blubrake (road vehicles – Italy)

Cycling safely into the future

  • Given the right conditions, for example proper training, talented researchers and inventors can also become good managers.
  • It is important for companies undergoing technology redesign and market customisation to align technology and patents. Protecting patents should be part of a continuous strategy, rather than a one-off exercise.
  • A well-defined collaboration framework agreement facilitates IP generation, reduces transaction costs and creates incentives for all partners.
  • IP protection is a key element of a variety of business models, including open-ended solutions, and allows you to keep control of your technology while collaborating with others.

Technical field

Country

Main product

Technology transfer model

Road vehicles

Italy

Anti-lock braking system (ABS) for e-bikes

Start-up accelerator and university spin-off

BlubrakeThe result of collaboration between a research team at the Politecnico di Milano and e-Novia, a deep-tech company creator, Blubrake was formed to commercialise an innovative e-bike ABS. In a market dominated by large and established international companies, patents were used to improve market penetration strategy and recognition. Initial patent applications for customised technology features and design were aimed at protecting the company's own unique selling proposition in the e-bike market.

Type of material

Download

Technology transfer case study

Podcast

Cubicure (additive manufacturing – Austria)

Changing the 3D printing landscape

  • Building up a network of trusted partners is essential for technology transfer at any level. The creation of technical solutions to overcome complex problems often requires an interdisciplinary approach. Application-driven R&D needs industrial sponsors to engage in joint R&D projects.
  • In projects funded by third-parties, the TTO's IP management system must secure control over the allocation of usage rights in order to increase the chances for broad commercial exploitation of academic technologies in as many applications as possible.
  • A broad IP portfolio in terms of the number of patent families, claimed technologies and geographical scope provides the core basis for young spin-off companies seeking funding and partnerships and looking to access markets.
  • Long-term business relationships are crucial for successful technology transfer. Understanding, considering and defining each party's requirements helps to build the trust needed to establish and maintain such relationships.

Technical field

Country

Main product

Technology transfer model

Additive manufacturing (AM)

Austria

AM machines and high-performance polymers for industrial applications

Industry-university collaboration and university spin-offs

CubicureThe development of a long-term technology transfer strategy with smart distribution of usage rights allowed the Technical University of Vienna to achieve scientific breakthroughs and commercialisation success with its industry partner, Ivoclar. This led to the creation of two university start-ups. As one of these two start-ups, Cubicure was able to benefit from a strong patent portfolio during early-stage funding rounds and to build strategic partnerships.

Type of material

Download

Technology transfer case study

Podcast

3D printing high-performance polymers
Video
From Research to High-growth Technology Businesses: patents in additive manufacturing 

Perceive3D (medical imaging – Portugal)

Disrupting surgical navigation

  • Universities should continue supporting their spin-offs once the licence agreement is signed and the spin-off has been created. In most cases, licence agreements should include the option to be adjusted to react quickly to rapidly changing economic environments.
  • Protecting the IP of the core technologies is a critical success factor in the initial phase of technology and business development.
  • IP awareness among researchers is key to ensuring that research results are properly assessed and protected prior to novelty-destroying publication.

Technical field

Country

Main product

Technology transfer model

Medical imaging

Portugal

Computer-assisted surgery (CAS) systems

University spin-off

Perceive3DA research project to improve surgical navigation combined with the entrepreneurial mindset of the lead researcher at the University of Coimbra (UC) in Portugal led to the creation of Perceive3D. Broad patent protection and a vibrant innovation ecosystem made it possible to target international markets and to secure continuous investment during the long development and approval phases, paving the way for market success.

Type of material

Download

Technology transfer case study

Podcast

fos4X (measurement technology – Germany)

Sensors for blades

  • It is essential for the founding team to have access to business competence. The technology transfer office cannot provide this, as it is not part of the start-up’s operational team.
  • Patents can work as an initial indicator of professionalism and competiveness when a young start-up with new technology becomes visible to established companies.
  • Solid patent protection is a prerequisite for many investors looking to invest in technology start-ups. However, cash flow-generating activities at an early stage can help to provide funds until market introduction and are also positive signals to investors.
  • While core IP has strategic value and should be prioritised, the transfer of non-core IP provides an opportunity for rapid monetisation.

Technical field

Country

Main product

Technology transfer model

Measurement technology

Germany

Fibre optic sensors and measurement solutions for wind turbines

University spin-off

fos4xAfter they had secured access to IP from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and one of the co-founders had gained business experience, the team of young researchers had all of the ingredients necessary to secure initial funding for the creation of fos4X. In a market of mostly large and international players, a steadily growing and smartly managed patent portfolio helped the young company to secure financing and to become a major provider of measurement solutions for wind power installations. Due to its success and strong IP portfolio, fos4X was acquired by the Danish company PolyTech in 2020.

Type of material

Download

Technology transfer case study

fos4X (EN)

Podcast

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