Knowledge Transfer Offices
This past November, the Ministry of Science and Innovation published Spanish Royal Decree 984/2022, establishing the Knowledge Transfer Offices and creating a registry for them.
The decree is a testament to the remarkable growth of research results transfer activities throughout the entire Spanish science, technology, and innovation sector since 1996. Spanish Law 14/2011 on Science, Technology, and Innovation, amended by Spanish Law 17/2022, highlights the promotion of scientific and technical research, innovation, knowledge transfer and dissemination, and scientific, technological, and innovative culture.
The institutional framework in which R&D&i and knowledge transfer activities are carried out has evolved in the direction of enhancing departments dedicated to transfer work. The complexity and specialization of the work done by Research Results Transfer Offices (OTRIS) range from detecting research results and giving them legal protection to commercializing them through very diverse means such as operating licenses, collaborative research, offering new services, or creating knowledge-based entities.
The aforementioned Royal Decree advised changing the name of these structures to “Knowledge Transfer Offices (OTCs)” and highlighted the need to create a registry with the aim of clarifying certain aspects, such as the requirements that these entities must meet.
The Royal Decree also stressed a focus on establishing relationships between knowledge generators in the field of R&D&i and the industrial sector and society in general, as well obtaining economic and social results derived from knowledge transfer. It also addresses patents and other forms of technology protection, collaborative research contracts with companies, and providing technological services and technological foresight, promoting technological offers and technological marketing, the social dissemination of knowledge, education for creating an entrepreneurial environment, proofs of concept, prototypes, acceleration, investment capital, social impact, and more.
Everything that this new Royal Decree covers is simply what IQS and other universities and research centres have done for many years. In our dynamic and exciting environment, we listen to innovative proposals, analyse opportunities, and try to make them viable every day. We showcase this potential, connect industry and higher education, and seek to make the world move towards a more technological, yet simultaneously more human and sustainable, society thanks to our small contributions.
We are very pleased that the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and other public entities value our research work. We also hope that the OTC registry is not just another bureaucratic procedure, but something that really serves to enhance our science and technology network, enabling us to connect more easily and often with one another, thus taking further leaps forward.
Dr Núria Vallmitjana
Director of IQS Tech Transfer