Knowledge and Technology Transfer
Online Annual Report 2018
Development of Technology Transfer at the HZDR
Patents, licenses, and external revenues: On the whole, HZDR knowledge transfer indicators continued to develop well in 2018. The number of invention disclosures increased to 28 towards the end of the year. The number of licensed patents rose by 102 (35 percent) to a total of 291. Income from royalties doubled over the previous year. Once again in 2018, income from royalties exceeded the HZDR’s patent costs.
In addition, transfer-related externally funded projects totaling €5 million were acquired in 2018. €2.1 million in revenues was generated from contracts with industry and from contract research.
Innovative Projects: The number of innovative projects at the HZDR remained consistently high – a total of 83 projects with a total volume of €15.6 million were realized in 2018. Examples include cooperative activities in research and development with industry, validation projects, and spin-offs. This demonstrates that, in addition to collaboration with industry in the form of contract research and infrastructure use, the majority of innovation activities involve funding projects. The number and scope of such projects exceed by far those of traditional bilateral projects with industry.
Innovation Contest: In 2018, the HZDR Innovation Contest was held for the second time, an again with great success. A total of 18 scientists and research teams submitted ideas for commercialization. Two all-day workshops were held in which the scientists were helped by their mentors to develop their ideas, ready for presentation to the jury. The three best teams received monetary rewards.
HZDR Innovation Fund: Greater use was made of the HZDR Innovation Fund in 2018. Five new projects received funding from the fund. As a result, 15 projects altogether have received funding since the fund was launched in 2016. The use of the Innovation Fund was also expanded in 2018 to pave the way for strategic partnerships with industry.
HZDR Innovation GmbH (HZDRI): Service and production orders for the industrial utilization of HZDR expertise and infrastructure, and the investment management of spin-offs are in the hands of HZDR Innovation GmbH (HZDRI). Business by the HZDR subsidiary continued to develop well. In 2018, annual turnover increased significantly over the previous year to €3.2 million, with a high level of profitability.
Spin-off projects: No new spin-offs were realized in 2018. In late 2018, the HZDR received confirmation that its current spin-off project “Tensormeter” was to gain funding from the Helmholtz Enterprise Program.
Policy consultation: In 2018, the HZDRI played a key role in drawing up an expert report on the concept of validation promotion for Saxony, commissioned by the Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs and Labor (SMWA). In 2018, approval was also given to the ECO II Funding Project of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). In this project, the HZDR has teamed up with the Technische Universität Dresden and the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (IFW) in a bid to transfer the HZDR Innovation Fund model to Leibniz institutes and to expand the validation of transfer projects involving external management and market expertise.
Education: The “BePerfekt – Empowering individuals and teams in transfer structures” joint research project was continued in 2018. The first training module on “Foundations: knowledge and technology transfer in practice” was implemented as a pilot project from May to June 2018. It included six webinars and a final two-day classroom event.
In a bid to improve transfer culture and transfer support, a series of events were organized, especially in the context of the HZDR alumni project. Past HZDR scientists and doctoral students who now work successfully in industry were recruited to speak for the “Alumni Talk”. The project got off to a successful start in 2018, and is to be put on a permanent footing once the project comes to an end in mid-2020.
Personnel Matters and Organization
The previous Managing Director of HZDR Innovation GmbH, Professor Andreas Kolitsch, retired at the end of September due to age. Dr. Björn Wolf succeeded him. In this context, the Department of Technology Transfer and Legal Affairs was split into two new staff departments now operating under the names of “Technology Transfer and Innovation” and “Legal Affairs and Patents”.
- Contact: Dr. Björn Wolf, Head of the Department of Technology Transfer and Innovation at the HZDR