A KTO is part of a university’s infrastructure that aims to transfer knowledge outside academia for the benefit of society. This transfer of knowledge, research results or intellectual property should result in societal and/or economic impact. KTOs are found at universities active in all domains while the variation TTO (Technology Transfer Office) is often found at technical universities.
A KTO gives shape and meaning to the universities third mission: valorizing research. At the same time a KTO acts as a facilitator. With a broad range of facilities, services and expertise IXA offers researchers practical support to valorize research. Also, the KTO fulfils an important communication role: universities and profitable companies have different values and objectives if it comes to research. The KTO experts understand both and can communicate effectively with researchers and commercial people alike. Further a KTO’s efforts and involvement ensures that all parties involved – researcher, university and a third party – receives a fair return if a company generates profits with the knowledge. And all that in a way that as many people as possible will benefit from their research results.
Valorisation is the process of creating value from knowledge by making knowledge suitable and/or available for economic and/or societal use and translating that knowledge into competitive products, services, processes and entrepreneurial activity.
Knowledge valorisation is a core task (next to education and research) for universities and therefore also for researchers. It is becoming increasingly important for research results to be put to societal or economic use. Knowledge transfer is one way of doing this, whether or not in exchange for money by licensing the universities’ intellectual property (IP).
Entrepreneurship is not a goal in itself for most universities. It’s simply a way of incorporating knowledge and research results into society, e.g., by bringing knowledge and innovation to the market via a product or service.
No. Our services, facilities, and expertise are free of charge for researchers/ employees. Because IXA as a Knowledge Transfer Office is an integral part of the universities’ service infrastructure.
At all times, researchers must be able to function in a critical and independent manner. It is for this reason that agreements are made at an early stage between the researcher and IXA – together with the faculty – in order to prevent conflicts of interest.
Usually, the term ‘start-up’ is reserved for endeavours of students and ‘spin-off’ is reserved for researchers starting a new business. Sometimes, depending on the context, we also use the term start-up to describe the status of the activity, as in early-stage new venture.
A spin-off is a knowledge-intensive company set up by a university employee. This new business uses the university’s knowledge or research results to develop new products or services, such as new technology, chemical substances, new measurement methods or teaching methods.
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