I = RP2 Innovation = Research x Projects x Persons - Agreements for Innovation
Topic of the practice
Support to SMEs
Good Practice Information
Significant experiences show the importance to include young newly graduated researchers in technology transfer projects, because they are well introduced to the academic world and can easily create a bridge with the SMEs. With this aim the Municipality of Roma finances 12-18 months of a researcher's work in a small company to carry out a project of innovation and technological development, previously arranged by both the business and the research centre or department. The concept of previous arrangement is very important to make the transfer effective, so that they both share the responsibility of the success or failure. The good practice is implemented in cooperation with Regione Lazio and entrepreneurial associations. Financial support is given to selected projects on the following topics: urban quality and environment, ICT, innovative services for tourism, and cultural assets.
The beneficiaries are SMEs but the experience shows that the problem of intellectual unemployment is the glue of the projects, so that young researchers do all they can to make entrepreneurship and academy meet and decide on a technology transfer project to implement together. However it is important to perceive this tool as a support to the innovative SMEs and not to the lack of employment for good researchers, otherwise the goal will never be reached. Sometimes the businesses decide to continue the collaboration after the end of our contract, so the tool can be considered also as an opportunity for employment, but not directly in the case of the Local Administration. Each 12-month contract costs almost 23.000 EUR, insurance, taxes and social contribution included.
A careful selection of the proposed projects avoided those requiring more study steps, in other words not ready for the technology transfer. Another important warning was about the possible unfair use of the researcher's time of work, because the entrepreneur needed different skills. Therefore, the selection of projects should be followed by strict monitoring of the researcher work results.
Evidence of success
In around three years 110 proposals were examined and 45 carried out, with a very small failure rate (only two cases). Many Departments of Universities and SMEs have been interested in this experience.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Roma Capitale - Municipality of Rome
Annex completed on: 02-28-2011