This panel session hosted by Dimitrios Loumanis, the vice chair of the IET Central London Network, reviewed the concept of 'Technology Transfer' as the movement of technical knowledge, including data, innovations, software and hardware from one organisation to another or from one practice to another. The technology transfer process is guided by policies and agreements set by central governments between participating parties.

Professor Timothy Dafforn, Professor of Biotechnology at the University of Birmingham, discussed that he has seen traditional interactions with knowledge transfer networks evolve within academia that now allows companies to bring ideas together bidirectionally, through collaborative communication methods.

Chrissy Thom, Senior Vice President of Growth, Strategy & Solutions at Jacobs discussed that collaborative tools help technology transfer and we can also now add value required faster together in way that matches all agile viewpoints.

Elspeth Finch MBE, Founder and CEO of IAND added that a cloud first strategy lets you build solutions faster and in real time - however it also lets you cater for softer collaboration needs like pairing knowledge-networks with people with the experiences required in a progressive and useful way.

Dr Christos Dimas, Deputy Minister of Development & Investments is responsible for Research & Technology, Hellenic Republic, gave the perfect example of how modern technology transfer sessions can work at a government level, where the Elevate Greece initiative allowed the building of future start-ups - the programme allowed the Government of Greece to identify early-start-ups and then provide them the support required for growth, from mentorship allocations, product refinement and to ensure government incentives are maximized on. This approach allowed the Government to solidify start-ups ready for angel investors on a national or even on an international stage!

Elspeth added that Universities are a great resource for start-ups to provide not only funding but access to people, markets, skills and expertise. Chrissy discussed that in her capacity as a global connector, it is important to bring pockets of excellence together for those who need it - connecting focused ideas with the right accessibility is important for successful technology transfer, she explained you cannot be everything to everyone and being disciplined will help find the right transfer solution.

Having the right approach does help, nobody starts out to fail and it is by using suitable transfer methods, obstacles can be overcome explained Christos. Elspeth further added that there is a fear of failure with something new and by understand the risks and roots causes of failure you can achieve your customer promises – using technology transfer can help harmonise successful collaboration.

Further thoughts were provided on how technology transfer effects Brexit, international collaboration and can even break social barriers, all of which can be reviewed on our YouTube channel here.

Robert Heaton