At the congress, several aspects were highlighted. These included Catalan government bodies’ responsibility for knowledge transfer and the fact that investment in research must have an impact on society. New trends in technology transfer and business innovation and the value of research activity to improve business competitiveness were discussed. In addition, it was noted that policies of collaboration between universities and companies must be promoted, and innovation and digitalisation should be fostered as key elements to increase business productivity.
It was stressed that companies must see research institutes as an essential technology partner, beyond the collaborative framework that exists currently. The capabilities of technology centres must be connected with real market needs. In addition, entrepreneurship and the creation of spin-offs was discussed; a formula used by research institutions to transfer technology to the market. The role of technology transfer offices (TTO) was also addressed, among other topics.
On behalf of the UPC, vice-rector for Transfer, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Climent Molins attended. Several directors of research groups and centres also participated. Ernest Teniente, director of inLab FIB, took part in the round table Time to transfer: mechanisms to ensure that research reaches the market. This addressed the need for government bodies, research institutions and the business sector to work together to promote intensive collaboration policies that enable researchers to continue with their projects to bring them to the market. Santiago Royo, director of the Centre for Sensors, Instruments and Systems Development (CD6) participated in the round table Research & Tech-Transfer Career, on professional career. He stressed the need for the merits of technology transfer to be valued in academic careers in the same way as in research careers.
Manel Arrufat, from the UPC Innovation Management Service, also participated in the congress. He defined spin-offs as “magnificent vehicles for technology transfer, even though more money needs to be invested and more facilities need to be established for research centres and researchers in the phases of maturing technologies, to generate technology transfer that has an impact and value for society.”
Apart from the round tables, in the exhibition area the TECNIO groups and centres displayed their projects and technological capabilities. For example, CD6 exhibited a robotic arm with sensors 75 cm high.