Universities and public research institutions (PROs) are increasingly required to address strategic needs defined by industrial sectors both from the education and research standpoint and contribute more intensively to the absorption of advanced technologies. Many countries rely on the reform of traditional structures of universities and PROs by creating specific centers of excellence to ensure long-term partnerships with industry. The need for stable university-industry partnerships focuses on the evolution from short-term instruments to long-term instruments for cooperation in the wider context of technology transfer (TT) embedded in technology development processes. Within this context, governments are looking for adequate policy instruments to offer more attractive funding conditions to increase institutional involvement in TT as a pre-requirement to increase the long-term stability of public-private partnerships.

The specific situation in the European Union is addressed where steps toward fostering open innovation have been taken to overcome structural, institutional, and cultural rigidities. The analysis is focused on the short and long term instruments provided by the European Framework Program and other European initiatives. Specialized technology transfer structures, especially those targeting the creation of joint research centers, are among the most common approaches in the EU in order to facilitate the exchange of tacit and explicit knowledge and accelerate innovation.

The rationale behind the concept of open innovation applied to technology transfer and diffusion activities is addressed. Interest is focused on the identification of trends, drivers, and limits in the models used today for TT and their impact on the design of policy. From this analysis, new open models emerge for immature technologies where research and TT cannot be isolated.

Finally, although these elements can be found in any science and technology domain, information technologies offer a set of special features making it even more important to address TT activities in a cooperative way where universities facilitate the transference of immature technologies. Experiences on the deployment of grid services will be outlined in this context. This case illustrates the benefits of a close open cooperation amongst all stakeholders (industry, academia, and governments) to support TT and to speed up grid services deployment.


Technology Transfer Open Innovation Policy Instrument Innovation Model Grid Service 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Albino, V., Carbonara, N., and Giannocaro, I. “Industrial Districts as Complex Adaptive Systems: Agent-Based Models of Emergent Phenomena,” in C. Karlsson, B. Johansson, and R. R. Stough (eds.), Industrial Clusters and Inter-firm Networks: New Horizons in Regional Science, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2005.Google Scholar
  2. COM. Delivering on the Modernization Agenda for Universities: Education, Research and Innovation, Brussels: Commission of the European Communities, 2006a (available online at Scholar
  3. COM. Implementing the Renewed Partnership for Growth and Jobs: Developing a Knowledge Flagship: The European Institute of Technology, Brussels: Commission of the European Communities, 2006b (available online at Scholar
  4. COM. Proposal for a Regulation of the European Council and Parliament Establishing the European Institute of Technology, Brussels: Commission of the European Community, 2006c.Google Scholar
  5. Debackere, K., and Veugelers, R. “The Role of Academic Technology Transfer Organizations in Improving Industry Science Links,” Research Policy (34:4), April 2005, pp. 321–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. EIRMA. Responsible Partnering: Joining Forces in a World of Open Innovation. A Guide to Better Practices for Collaborative Research between Science and Industry, Paris: EIRMA, in cooperation with EUA, Pro Ton Europe, and EARTO, January 2005 (available online at Scholar
  7. Etzkowitz, H., and Leysderdoff, L. “The Dynamics of Innovation: From National Systems and ‘Mode 2’ to a Triple Helix of University-Industry-Govemment Relations,” Research Policy (29:2), 2000, pp. 109–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Foray, D. (rapporteur). “Globalization of R&D: Linking Better the European Economy to ‘Foreign’ Sources of Knowledge and Making EU a More Attractive Place for R&D Investment,” Grupo de expertos de la Comisión Europea “Knowledge for Growth,” April 2006.Google Scholar
  9. Geroski P. A. “Models of Technology Diffusion,” Research Policy (29:4–5), April 2000, pp. 603–625.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Karlsson, C., Johansson, B., and Stough, R. R. (eds.). Industrial Clusters and Inter-Firm Networks: New Horizons in Regional Science, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2005.Google Scholar
  11. León, G. (Chairman), Calzarossa, M. (Rapporteur), Goencke, D., Olesky, E., Rogerson, S., Schmidt-Lainé, C., and Timperi, A. “Monitoring Report 2005: Implementation of Indirect Research Activities of the Sixth Framework Programmes of the European Community (EC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM), October 2006 (available online at Scholar
  12. Ormala, E. (Chairman), Vonortas, N., Ayme, S., Cok, L., Donnelly, D., King, J., Mandl, C., Meyer-Krahmer, F., Llesky, E., Quintanilha, A., Stame, N., Tarrach, R., and Thys-Clement, F. “Five Years Assessment of the EU Framework Programme (1999–2003),” European Commission, 2005 (available online at Scholar
  13. Reichert, S. “Research Strategy Development and Management at European Universities,” European University Association, EUA Publications, Brussels, 2006 (available online at Scholar

Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gonzalo Léon
    • 1
  1. 1.Technical University of MadridMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations