From science to market – Technology transfer as key process in revitalising the economy

Paul W. Gilgen 

Empa, Materials Technology and Research (Empa), Überlandstrasse 129, Dübendorf 8600, Switzerland


Due to the difficult situation of most public households, universities are forced in an increasing manner to guide their work (and the way they are creating these results) according to economical criteria. Now, this pressure through «economization» has reached education and research. Exploiting the created knowledge

(i.e. invention) through conversion into an innovation hat to become a regular behaviour; only when arrived

as problem solving solution in the market the required monetary value then has been created.

The process of shifting a science invention into a business innovation is called technology transfer. It consists of two halves: the push process, emerging from science; and the pull process, dipping into business. Together they form the close joint action of science with business – a cooperation which is fundamental for a successful re-industrialization of OECD economies; technology transfer plays the key role within this renewal.

Looking from a higher point of view at the topic «From science to market», two aspects are standing out from the rest. First: economy's rise to the top, with many and far-reaching consequences resulting from this dominating role. Second: the university has to become what it was: an alma mater. However, the university as a «nurturing mother» should not limit its supply to students only, but shouldprovide the whole society with intellectual food. It is this urgently needed meal which gives society the fitness to cope with 21st century's challenges. By that, also economy receives those inventions in demanded quantity it is depending on to renew and maintain its competitiveness.


Presentation: invited oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2005, Round Table Discussion, by Paul W. Gilgen
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2005

Submitted: 2005-08-25 11:44
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44