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Achieving effective technology transfer in biotechnology

World Scientific

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Credit: Imperial College Press, 2015

In recent years, a lot of effort and investments have gone to improving the outcome of technology transfer. Biotechnology is referred to as one of the key enabling technologies of the 21st century and has the potential to offer solutions for health and resource-based problems the world is facing, such as unmet medical needs and fossil fuel dependency.

Imperial College Press has published a title that gathers the best practice case studies focusing on the core organizations involved in technology transfer in biotechnology: technology transfer offices, business incubators and research institutes. The book, "Effective Technology Transfer in Biotechnology" examines funding mechanisms on different levels that facilitate the transfer of know- how and technologies from academia to industry. It also considers how technology transfer activities are embedded within a regional ecosystem.

The book editors recognise that the effectiveness of technology transfer can only be improved by looking at technology transfer as a multi-faceted phenomenon. Technology transfer results will not be boosted or grow rapidly by taking a couple initiatives or by focusing investments or efforts on one domain.

The book highlights that improving technology transfer effectiveness requires action and long-term commitment on all levels. Governments should be willing to invest a lot of resources and effort for a long period. Institutions should change their organizational structure and processes; and possibly rethink their reward systems.

Scientific laboratories should collaborate and negotiate with industrial partners; activities for which a new set of skills and capabilities should be attracted to the lab. Individuals should be made aware that getting involved in technology transfer is a long term, sometimes frustrating, but always rewarding opportunity.

The authors note that high-quality research lies at the heart of technology transfer. If there is no competitive, differentiating research activity, there are no basic inputs for technology transfer. Once the basic assumption is extended, initiatives and measures are noted to be taken in a wide variety of domains.

In recent years, a lot more attention is put on how and if academics provide societal impact as a result of their receiving R&D funding. Technology transfer provides one route of returning discoveries and technologies to society, but it is one that requires a lot of upfront investment, intensive collaboration, vision, an all-encompassing strategy and long-term commitment.

The book provides the reader with a critical assessment of the initiatives and with interesting lessons and inspiration for policy makers, entrepreneurs, cluster managers and research institute managers when they are developing and implementing similar initiatives.

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The book retails for US$98 / £65 at leading bookstores. More information about the book can be found at http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/p1002.

About World Scientific Publishing

World Scientific Publishing is a leading independent publisher of books and journals for the scholarly, research and professional communities. The company publishes about 500 books annually and more than 120 journals in various fields. World Scientific collaborates with prestigious organisations like the Nobel Foundation, US National Academies Press, as well as its subsidiary, the Imperial College Press, amongst others, to bring high quality academic and professional content to researchers and academics worldwide. To find out more about World Scientific, please visit http://www.worldscientific.com.

For more information on the journal, contact Jason CJ at cjlim@wspc.com.sg

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