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University-Industry Technology Transfer

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The group follows two lines of research focusing on the valorisation of results from public research, both in Italy and abroad. The first aims to monitor technology transfer (TT) from academia to industry taking place both in Italy and at the European level. The group investigates TT models adopted by universities and other public research organisations (PROs) and their technology transfer offices (TTOs) for managing and supporting university patenting, licensing, spin-off processes, etc.
The second topic of research is the evolution and the state of the art of spin-off processes in Italian and European universities. Research aims to identify the factors determining both early growth of spin-off firms and of differences between universities with regard to spin-off productivity.

The final aim of this research line is to explore the possible relationship between the growth of spin-off firms and the TT model adopted by the parent university, shedding light on the policy tools required to improve TT performance in different contexts. Several surveys have been carried out which will provide a longitudinal data base for further research:

  • a survey of Italian TTOs is carried out within the NetVal ( (so far four annual reports have been produced so far);
  • a similar survey is carried out within Proton (;
  • a database of all Italian academic spin-off companies has been compiled;
  • a database on European patents held by Italian PROs is also now complete.