Innovation manager as translator

Zusatzmodul Technologietransfer – Dr. Frank Pankotsch – Technical University of Dresden

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Beneficiary: Technical University of Dresden
Funding: 01.03.2013 bis 30.04.2016; 477.031 Euro

Project description

The project "EliSTA - Extended Measures for Translation within the Life Sciences" was implemented by the start-up service "dresden|exists" at the TU Dresden and was aimed at improving the processes of knowledge and technology transfer in the field of life sciences.

 The core was the introduction of "innovation managers" as central process controllers. Within a transfer project they are the central contact persons for scientists and companies. In this function, the innovation manager control all tasks on the way from the screening of the transfer potential to the final implementation (or termination) of the transfer project. For this purpose, they also decide on the integration of further internal and external university experts and integrate their results into the process. Where necessary, they also act as "translators" between the scientists and the experts.

 This model was developed in the project and gradually "put into operation" as a prototype on the basis of concrete transfer projects. The  outcome was the identification of a mid-double-digit number of transfer-relevant research results as well as various process advances in individual transfer projects. This includes, for example, the preparation of several projects for further financing by various federal funding programs (EXIST program, Life Science Incubator) or within the framework of cooperation projects with companies, e.g. in the area of cancer stem cells and tumor vaccines or drug discovery.

 The innovation manager model has proven to be an absolute added value for all participants, as they can concentrate on their respective strengths. Besides, the progress of a transfer project is specifically controlled from a single source. This has led to a frequent acceleration of the transfer. In addition, the dual personnel solution of people with life science experience and commercial qualifications - each with corresponding industry experience - has proven its worth.

 A major obstacle to the sustainable continuation of the model and its extension to other areas was the insufficient funding available for technology transfer at the university.