Professionalisation of university-industry collaboration by training intermediaries

Grit Krause-Juettler
TU Dresden, CIMTT

Professionalisation aims to qualify representatives of intermediary organisations for professional support of collaborative projects between science and industry. Mainly, small and medium sized enterprises depend on the support of research organisations if they want to implement research and development projects. Because there are many barriers that hinder the collaboration between science and business, e.g. different target horizons, different professional languages, both sides often rely on the support of intermediary organisations as mediators. Therefore, project aimed to develop and pilot a curriculum qualifying representatives from intermediary organisations like innovation centres, transfer offices, regional development agencies for a professional support of such collaboration. Project laid special attention on transnational collaboration because it was implemented in the tri-national region of Germany, Czech Republic and Poland.
Coming from a self-developed role model of transfer-supporting organisations (Krause-Juettler 2014, 2019) that defines the different roles and related tasks of transfer-support actors in collaborative innovation projects between science and businesses, a competence profile for transfer actors regards professional, methodical and social competences was deduced. This was the starting point for the development of a complex curriculum for intermediaries. It included ten main topics, e.g. intercultural competences in collaborative projects, economic and administrative structures in the participating countries, legally compliant design of research collaboration, IP rights, technology scouting, and exploitation planning. Poster will provide a complete overview of curriculum and contents.
The training has a modular structure. Each event is self-contained so that participants can select the topics they need personally. This is necessary because it is a very heterogeneous target group regarding education level, level of experience and thematic field of work in knowledge and technology transfer. Training units were tested as single day and two day events. Events have a similar structure. In the first part, theoretical input is provided. The second part is more experience-based by implementing site visits or group work sessions. In the last, nearly ten years 281 persons took part in the training and more than 40 trainers were involved. Trainings were evaluated and constantly adapted to the needs of participants. Poster includes information about evaluation results.
Results show that a professionalisation for intermediaries in the support of cooperation between science and industry resp. knowledge and technology transfer is needed. But, such a qualification has to be adapted to the concrete challenges and working contents of the target group. Therefore, it could be shown that a modular structure of offered qualification is to be recommended. One day implementation of training units has to be preferred in comparison to two day trainings because target group can not be absent from workplace for two days.
In the future, developed training contents are provided as one service of TRANSĀ³Net network, which is active in the tri-national region between Germany, Czech Republic and Poland.