TTO activities also include interaction with the local, national and global industry as well as investors, which is essential for maturation of the research results into real-life products, i.e.
This points toward a pivotal role for TTO units that are dedicated to facilitate and manage the process of making academic research have direct impact on society.
However, we do believe that the best long-term result from technology transfer will be realized by meeting the researchers in their own environments and from there facilitate the process of technology transfer as a partnership with TTO, management of the university and the external partners in society.
To dedicate researchers to the process of technology transfer, it is critical that TTO activity is visible, transparent and is adjusted to their scientific environment.
To enhance visibility of the persons and activities of the TTO unit we participate in a diversity of meetings and seminars for institute managers, group leaders, natural science PhD students, natural science graduate students, innovation course participants and the academic staff.
Modifying these perceptions changes reality of the percipients, which is essential if researchers should engage in technology transfer, which is the fuel that drives TTO units and technology transfer.
Our university found it pivotal that TTO should meet researchers in their "natural environment" speaking the language of science to facilitate a dialogue based on a mutual understanding of the context of the research.
During sessions of talking with researchers on their particular topics and projects that motivate them, the BSO have the unique chance to frame the talk about TTO activities and processes into a relevant specific context directly related to his/her research project: Does the specific research have perspectives in terms of patent-ability, should one consider this at a more mature stage or is a pre-mature stage "enough", are there possibilities for proof-of-concept funding etc.?
The huge benef it from this progressive strategy is that TTO will no longer have to wait for researchers to "come to TTO", since the TTO is actually coming to the researchers to see if there are inventions that they researchers did not think of as inventions themselves (maybe because the focus was on the next grant or publication).
In our TTO unit we decided to implement a progressive strategy that implies we need to have not only a real-time picture of possible business cases at immature or mature stages, we also decided to make a detailed catalogue/database of scientific competences present at the different faculties.
Based on our experiences we strongly advice other universities to make such a repository of information to facilitate TTO activities.