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Validation: A key element of successful technology transfer processes


Cooperation projects with industrial firms, projects funded by third parties and out-licensing of know-how and patents are the essential elements of industry-related research. In 2015 alone, 40 new direct cooperation projects with industrial firms were established. Creating and exploiting patents represents an important element in the structured transfer of knowhow from PTB to the economy. Of all patents that have been filed to date, 31 % have been licensed; when considering applications which are currently active and thus incur costs, the licensing rate is even higher, at 47 %.

The main reason for this high licensing rate is that these ideas are frequently validated in the field – meaning they are developed into functional models – in cooperation with businesses. In this way, research findings can be purposefully applied to new products and services. Access to industry is made possible by special publications on technology transfer, such as PTB-Mitteilungen 2015/1, “Metrology for Industry and SMEs”, regular trade show appearances and, in particular, scientists’ knowledge of the industrial branches they cooperate with.

Over the course of many years, PTB has ensured in many cooperation projects that these ideas are implemented rapidly by participating in the following programs: “KMU-innovativ”; the Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM); and the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR). This year, PTB launched its own validation program, “Transfer of Metrological Technologies” (TransMeT), whose terms can be accessed by interested SMEs on the PTB website under “Innovation and Technology Transfer”. This program contributes to strengthening the research base and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular, in order to allow them to transfer PTB technologies rapidly and flexibly.