An agreement to encourage research and transfer it to the market
In Donostia-San Sebastian today, José María Arias-Mosquera, Chairman of the Barrié Foundation, and Jose Maria Pitarke, CEO of CIC nanoGUNE, signed an agreement which will allow nanoGUNE to implement the methodology that the Barrié Foundation has developed through its Science Fund for the transfer of scientific and technological results to the market.
As the Foundation’s chairman explained, “the Barrié Foundation's Science Fund, based on the ‘learning-improving by doing’ philosophy, has provided us with a tool to design, develop and validate a proven, practice-based methodology, and we are now making it available to nanoGUNE. This way we are fully meeting our aim to design and model new paths that can be replicated by other players”. The Science Fund was set up in 2011 and is a tool for establishing a methodology and creating a bridge so that excellent research will reach the market and so that the market will return it in the form of patents, licences, contracts with companies, etc. “The agreement aims to free up and adapt a methodology, a roadmap that can facilitate the process to develop and market the outcomes of research in our area,” pointed out Jose M. Pitarke. Even though it is true that, owing to the diverse nature of the results and their potential application in different markets, there are no single recipes in the field of technology transfer, this tool allows us to get to know experiences that have worked in specific fields and to adapt them to our own developments,” he added.
This agreement between nanoGUNE and the Barrié Foundation will enable nanoGUNE to follow this adaptable roadmap for the researchers at this centre based in Donostia-San Sebastian. This will allow them to further their knowledge about the characteristics and requirements of the processes to transfer results to the market, and that way they can anticipate and forecast the transfer possibilities from the moment the research projects are designed. That is why “our intention is to get to know the methodology and pass it on to our researchers so that within the centre itself one can anticipate from the start the needs and difficulties that the potential marketable results may encounter and thus facilitate their development,” explained Pitarke. On the other hand, and given the collaborative nature of nanoGUNE, “we will be incorporating this methodology into collaboration projects either via programmes of the Basque type (Government of the Basque Autonomous Community, Chartered Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa) in support of R&D and technological development or else via international programmes that provide for commercial exploitation (Horizon 2020),” concluded Pitarke.
A Science Fund to encourage innovation
The Barrié Foundation’s Science Fund finances the phases involving the valorization, proof of concept and marketing of scientific and technological results generated in the Galician research system; they are ones that have marketing potential and are led by scientists and researchers of recognised solvency. It also acts as a strategic partner in the valorization of the research results, in exploiting them commercially and in spreading them to society. In this task it receives the advice of an international group of experts, including the technology transfer company of the University of Oxford, ISIS Innovation. Throughout the process the Foundation accompanies and supports the team from very close quarters and through all the phases of the process by contributing business intelligence, management capacity, professionalization of analysis and strategy and makes available to the project the whole network of contacts that the foundation has been developing throughout its 50-year history. As a result, the Science Fund, initially worth € 5.5M, has supported five projects that so far have signified an investment close to € 3M, and four of these projects are still up and running. Two have led to start-ups and another two are in the marketing validation phase.
The Barrié Foundation is a private, Galician foundation set up in 1966 by the businessman Pedro Barrié de la Maza to encourage the socio-economic and cultural development of Galicia through programmes in the areas of Education, Science, Social Action, Culture and Heritage. The programmes in the area of Science are guided by three strategic lines and display a solid commitment by the Foundation towards research in Galicia: support for scientific research; training of research talent and transfer of knowledge.