White Paper

White Paper Project: Assessing Science to Business (S2B) Technology Transfer in the emerging Bioeconomy


The bioeconomy has a high innovation potential, and it can therefore provide new scientific and technological inventions with potential commercial applications. In order to achieve this high innovation potential and the successful implementation of the bioeconomy, technology transfer needs to be encouraged. For any technology transfer process to succeed, two key steps need to follow. The first step involves the development of a particular idea or invention into an applied application or product. The second key step relates to the final commercialization of the product. Hence, this research should aim towards: (1) understanding how technology transfer from research facilities to industry applications takes place, (2) identifying technology transfer instruments (e.g. patents, licenses, start-ups, spin-offs) chosen by bioeconomy researchers to transfer inventions to industry, (3) analysing factors (enablers and barriers) influencing the technology transfer process in the bioeconomy, (4) developing a conceptual framework for assessing effectiveness of technology transfer in the bioeconomy.


To reach the objectives of this study, theories and models on technology transfer are being reviewed with the aim of building a conceptual framework for assessing technology transfer in the bioeconomy. This framework will be enriched by expert interviews and two case studies. As such, 4 expert interviews with researchers from the different research areas within the BioSC were conducted. During the interviews, the experts were asked to share their experiences on technology transfer, refer to instruments they use to transfer inventions and to report on possible transfer hurdles. Key issue in the interviews was to find out about specific factors influencing the science to business technology transfer in the bioeconomy as well as instruments used to transfer bioeconomy inventions. Finally, a workshop with participants involved in technology transfer (scientists, technology transfer office representatives, and start-ups or spin-offs founders) will be carried out. In this workshop, we will draw upon the methodology of Group Concept Mapping to investigate enablers and barriers for effective technology transfer in the bioeconomy.

What is the relevance for the bioeconomy?

This research project sets a basis for socio-economic research that is necessary for a successful bioeconomy strategy. It contributes to the understanding of how technology transfer occurs and which obstacles to technology transfer exist in the bioeconomy. Based on the conceptual framework, empirical research on technology transfer effectiveness can be conducted. Moreover, we strive to utilize the findings of this white paper for future research projects under the BMBF BioEconomy funding scheme. Hence, in future research projects the technology transfer effectiveness measures can be utilized to empirically assess the technology transfer effectiveness of research institutions and technology transfer offices within the BioSC.

Leading core group: Prof. Stefanie Bröring, Universität Bonn, Chair for Technology and Innovation Management in Agribusiness


Laura Borge
Institute for Food and Resource Economics
Chair for Technology and Innovation Management in Agribusiness
(Head: Prof. Dr. Stefanie Bröring)
Phone: +49-(0)228-73-35 3329
Email: l.borge@ilr.uni-bonn.de

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