A dedicated fund supports technological innovation

The Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) Group is calling on CERN Departments to take their technology out of the confines of the laboratory and make it ready for dissemination. For the first time, projects can apply for financial support from the newly established KTT Fund.

Scientific inquiry can lead to unexpected developments for society when researchers apply their expertise for public use. CERN actively encourages this transfer of knowledge and technology and, for the first time, has created a dedicated fund to provide financial support to projects aiming at disseminating their technologies to external audiences.

CERN’s technology transfer schemes were formalised in the recent Policy on the Management of Intellectual Property in Technology Transfer, approved in March. Revenues generated by commercial exploitation will be distributed between the members of the team that developed the technology, their Department, and the KTT Fund for reinvestment in further KTT projects. "The recent implementation of financial incentives demonstrates CERN’s increased commitment in the field of knowledge and technology transfer,” says Thierry Lagrange, acting KTT Group Leader and Head of the Finance and Procurement Department.

“The possibility of generating additional income for the Departments and Groups, along with the personal fulfillment that comes from making a positive impact on society, can be an incentive for CERN staff to get involved in the technology transfer process, ” explains Lagrange.

In addition to supporting Departments through the patenting and IP issues involved in developing technology, the KTT Group now provides financial support for technology transfer projects. Projects that apply to the KTT Fund can also benefit from an expert market analysis by the KTT Group of the dissemination potential of their technology.

The first deadline for proposal applications is 31 January 2011; don't hesitate to contact the KTT Group for support in submitting a proposal.

Submitting a proposal to the KTT Fund

In order for a project proposal to receive financial support from the KTT Fund, it must meet the following conditions: the proposal must be approved by the Department head, the staff costs must be covered by the Department, the project must be based on CERN technology, and the IP required to develop the project must be owned by CERN. A 5-member Fund Committee then considers each proposal, assessing it according to its possible social impact, the probability of dissemination and the quality of the project’s management.

The first deadline for submitting project proposals to the KTT Fund is 31 January 2011. However, requests for market analysis by KTT experts must be made one month before this deadline. For further information, contact KTT via e-mail: KTT-fund@cern.ch.

by Katarina Anthony