Enhancing the visibility of new technologies

After several years of experience and reflection on the subject of technology transfer, CERN has formalised its policy for managing the intellectual property linked to its technology transfer activities.

The new Policy on the Management of Intellectual Property in Technology Transfer activities at CERN was approved in March this year. The aim of the policy is to clarify the basic principles governing technology transfer and the management of the associated intellectual property. The document also lays down the principles governing the redistribution of the income generated by technology transfer and provides for a fund to be set up to give financial support to knowledge and technology transfer projects. "Our main aim is to do everything we can to facilitate the actual transfer of CERN technologies and know-how with potential applications in other research fields or in industrial processes or products," says Bernard Denis, who is a member of the Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) Group. "If the transfer process generates any revenues, these are shared between the Group which developed the technology, the Department and the support fund."

The policy document is compatible with the principles laid down in the IP Charter formulated by the Technology Transfer Network for Particle Physics in Europe and presented to the Council in September 2009, as well as with the European Commission's recommendations of April 2008. Bernard Denis adds: "We're aware that the principles according to which we manage IP and technology transfer are not always very clear or widely known in-house and outside the Organization. This document sets out the main guidelines, operating principles and ground rules."

Defining a strategy in the field of knowledge transfer is no small matter, with several parameters needing to be taken into account, such as the principle of affording equal opportunities to industries in all CERN Member States and the rule against technology transfer for military purposes. Bernard Denis confirms: "This policy is the fruit of many years of experience, reflection and discussion with technology transfer experts in public research organisations across Europe. Our direct experience in the field was a very important factor in bringing the document to fruition."

As a complement to the official text, the KTT Group is ready to answer any of your questions on the Policy.
Feel free to send your questions to the experts at helpdesk-tt@cern.ch




by CERN Bulletin