“Knowledge transfer is an inherent component of CERN’s mission and culture: it fuels scientific collaboration and great technological endeavors alike; it drives innovation, motivates future generations of scientists, and makes the general public aware of the impact of basic science on their lives.”
This quote can be found within CERN’s Knowledge Transfer Report 2015; it illustrates the organization’s mandate to bring its inventions to industry and society. But what does CERN actually do to follow up on this mission?
One key activity within the CERN ecosystem are EU-funded Marie Curie ITNs (Initial Training Networks), like the “STREAM network” (https://stream.web.cern.ch). STREAM and similar projects enable CERN to hire promising young scientists for 3 a three years’ period, bring them into the organization, educate them, involve them into ongoing research projects, and integrate them into knowledge transfer activities.
In June this year, the High-Tech Ventures team was invited by the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (WU Vienna) to facilitate a three-days workshop on knowledge transfer methods as well as business design. The goal of this summer school was to expose the STREAM scientists to the worlds of management and entrepreneurship and raise awareness for the importance of technology valorization. Thus, participants were introduced to state-of-the-art approaches on identifying and evaluating (new) application fields for their inventions. They also got insights into the art of business modeling and developed market entry strategies for specific technologies. Beyond merely getting to know management tools and doing fun exercises, the participants were also asked to apply their newly acquired skills and to set up real life Knowledge Transfer projects. These projects will be conducted in cooperation with WU Vienna business students in the winter term 2017/18.
The STREAM summer school was a great success. The next generation of Science-Preneurs got a flavor of what Knowledge Transfer means and already started their first small ventures. Maybe even more importantly, they discovered the fun of being a (corporate) entrepreneur! The High-Tech Ventures team is thrilled to see what will be the outcome of the projects and is looking forward to mentor the teams in the next steps.
Do you want to get additional information on the STREAM summer school? Contact Peter Keinz (firstname.lastname@example.org).