CAIRO: A technology transfer project designed to bridge the gap between research and industry was launched at the American University in Cairo (AUC) last week.
The project, overseen by AUC and comprising four Egyptian university-based offices, called Technology Transfer Offices (TTO), will help bring research and innovations out of academia and into industry.
The TTOs ? at AUC and Cairo, Assiut and Helwan Universities ? are made possible through grant funding from the EU-TEMPUS project awarded as part of the Enterprise-University Partnership (EUPART) project.
“I believe that this project will bridge the gap between universities and business enterprises, and in the long term, will significantly contribute to the socio-economic development of Egypt,” said Karim Salim, one of the organizers of the event.
The project also aligns with Egyptian National IP and innovation policy as well as the Egyptian industry needs through partnering with the Science and Technology Development Fund and 6th of October City Investors Association.
The TTOs will support research at all stages of technology implementation from an idea to an invention, through the process of intellectual property protection, to setting up a company and the full-on commercialization of intellectual property.
The project’s public benefits, Selim said, are technology transfer, new knowledge and the diversification and increase of corporate support for faculty research, to protect and manage a university’s intellectual property.
The offices will provide substantial benefit to the educational system by encouraging students and faculty to become innovative and to protect and commercialize their innovations.
Also present in the inauguration were EU experts from Freie Universität Berlin, Germany; Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy; Linkoping University, Sweden; Vienna University of Technology, Austria; and the European Patent Office.
According to Hans Kaiser, vice rector for international affairs at Vienna University of Technology, the technology transfer model has been working in Europe for more than a decade.
“We will try to give our experience and our expertise, what we have acquired so far, to our colleagues; that’s the way it functions internationally,” he added.
One of the main goals of the TEMPUS program is to be able to support the modernization of higher education in 27 countries within the regions surrounding the European Union, which includes Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Western Balkans as well as the Mediterranean region.