Our transfer strategy
The transfer strategy of the TU Ilmenau was developed within the framework of a broad discussion process. Part of this process was a transfer audit by the Stifterverband in 2019.
Transfer is understood as a continuous, dialogue-oriented process through which TU Ilmenau makes its contribution to a knowledge society by making its scientific findings available to a (specialist) public, taking up impulses for its own research, participating in clarification and dissemination of knowledge on relevant social issues and, in the sense of technology transfer, supplying scientific results for technical or economic-commercial utilisation.
The overarching goal of the TU Ilmenau is to profile itself as a transfer-strong technical university in the regional, national and international context, even beyond the classic technology transfer, and to anchor transfer in the aforementioned sense permanently at the university.
The present transfer strategy is based on the mission statement of the TU Ilmenau and takes up important aspects from the research strategy. The transfer activities of the TU Ilmenau are subordinated to six main goals, which are supported by concrete action plans within the framework of the fields of action.
Establishment of a transfer culture
It is important to establish a transfer culture in all five fields of action and to develop it further in a targeted manner. A prerequisite for this is stronger internal university communication between actors and projects.
Creation of incentive systems for transfer-active researchers
Incentive systems are created to generate recognition for transfer-active scientists and to make transfer activities attractive for them. Existing incentive systems at the TU Ilmenau, which exist in particular in the fields of action "research cooperations" and "intellectual property rights", should be taken up and extended to all fields of action in a targeted manner.
Intensification of scientific exchange
The TU Ilmenau motivates its scientists to publish their research results in renowned journals and at scientific conferences as well as to seek dialog with the non-scientific public and politics. Major industry trade fairs as well as relevant subject-specific trade fairs, conferences and meeting formats with industry participation, e.g. annual meetings of professional societies, offer the opportunity for scientific exchange and the initiation of transfer activities, especially for the fields of action "knowledge transfer", "research cooperation" and "intellectual property rights".
Early identification of transfer-relevant research results
Through targeted scouting within the framework of the profile lines and research activities of the TU Ilmenau, new research directions and project ideas suitable for transfer are to be identified and promoted at an early stage, and an awareness is to be achieved in particular for the fields of action "property rights" (protection under property law and exploitation of research results), "research cooperations" (targeted initiation of cooperation projects) and "transfer via spin-offs". Scouting will be tested and validated within the framework of funded projects.
Promoting open access to research data and results
Open, unrestricted access to research results fits into the field of action "Information and Knowledge Transfer" and is an important prerequisite for maintaining and intensifying scientific exchange. The TU Ilmenau is therefore committed to the principles of "Open Access" with regard to scientific publications, as laid down in the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. A declaration on open access to scientific research results was confirmed by the TU Ilmenau Senate in 2014.
In addition, the university is committed to making research data generated or collected in connection with scientific work in publicly funded projects (measurement series, survey data, etc.) freely accessible (Open Data) as well as to safeguarding them in the long term. This was laid down in the TU Ilmenau guidelines for handling research data.
Contribution to the personal development of students and young researchers
Students are supported in their career orientation through practice-oriented learning and teaching formats, involvement in joint projects with companies or other practice-oriented event formats, and are prepared for their career entry. Interdisciplinary projects, work in disciplinary and interdisciplinary teams, the development of personal, social and methodological skills as well as the teaching of key qualifications and soft skills are promoted. These lay a foundation in the acquisition of future skills, such as collaborative working, ethical thinking, creativity and entrepreneurial action.
In addition, practical formats in education and further training as well as accompanying offers for young scientists are implemented in the Graduate Center of the TU Ilmenau. The focus here is on collaborative, cross-project work.
Within the scope of the field of action "spin-offs", awareness of the topic of entrepreneurship is already raised during studies with the aim of training entrepreneurial thinking and acting personalities. The topic of entrepreneurship is anchored in the courses of study at the TU Ilmenau. Young scientists at the TU Ilmenau are also sensitized to the topic of entrepreneurship. Those who want to set up a company with their idea have access to comprehensive support, consulting, coaching, mentoring and further training services via the TU Ilmenau's start-up service and its network.
The topic of science communication, located in the field of action "Information and Knowledge Transfer", is understood at the TU Ilmenau as a joint task of scientists, institutes, faculties and service facilities. It is to be expanded and centrally coordinated in this sense. A basis for the planning of concrete measures and for a coordinated communication of all actors is the implementation of a working group communication as well as the definition of time-limited thematic priorities.
The visibility of the research results of the TU Ilmenau is to be improved by regular contributions and information in various media and other channels and thus the research foci and research activities of the scientists of the TU Ilmenau are to be prepared and made accessible for the target groups of economy, society, culture and politics.
In addition to the university website, newsletters, the research blog or press relations, important media and channels include social media and event formats such as the "Long Night of Technology". The scientists at TU Ilmenau are motivated to get involved in social discourse in a variety of ways through formats such as lecture series, panel discussions, practical forums or media activities.
Promotion of the protection and exploitation of research results under intellectual property law
Decisions on the protection of research results of the TU Ilmenau are made prior to their publication. The transfer working group initiated by the R&D department and PATON is responsible for this. Subject- or project-related transfer strategies, patent research and patent statistical analyses form the basis for the application and exploitation strategy of inventions. In this context, patent applications and industrial property rights can be understood both as transfer objects and as means for initiating cooperations. In this context, taking into account subject-specific characteristics and strategic importance for the university, the following applies: "Quality before quantity".
The handling of inventions and intellectual property rights is laid down in separate guidelines.
Transfer of software and other intellectual property.
Software plays an increasing role in many scientific fields. The TU Ilmenau is developing separate guidelines for dealing with software, which regulate both the handling of open source software and the possibility of out-licensing software.
Increasing the number of start-ups, especially those with a high innovation potential
A prerequisite for increasing the number of start-ups in the "Start-Ups" field of action is to raise the awareness of (young) scientists for the topic of business start-ups in line with funding and transfer advice and scouting. As part of the EXIST project "Ilmkubator" funded by the BMWi, an incubator concept is being implemented to establish structured support on a sustainable basis. Individual support, consulting and coaching services during the entire start-up process are provided on a permanent basis. Interdisciplinary exchange, e.g. with the aim of complementing competencies in potential start-up teams, is promoted by means of suitable meeting formats. Promising start-up projects receive creative freedom, targeted incentives and appreciation from the TU Ilmenau. The continuation of suitable offers after a successful evaluation is a central measure for the realization of this goal.
TU Ilmenau as a driver of innovation in the region
The TU Ilmenau has an impact on the region in all five fields of action of transfer. Based on the results of application-oriented research and cooperation with partners in the region, knowledge, innovation and technology transfer contribute to the development of the region.
Cooperation formats such as "Business meets Science" or Transfer Days are primarily aimed at regional companies. They lay the foundation for joint activities, knowledge and personnel transfer, and joint research projects between companies and the university. They are conceived and carried out in close cooperation with local business networks. A central contact person at the TU Ilmenau is available for the companies to communicate with the university and thus bring the latest developments from the university to the entrepreneurial community in the region.
The TU Ilmenau is part of the regional network for the support of start-ups and thus also contributes to the strengthening of the region. The technology location constantly receives new innovative impulses through technology-oriented spin-offs. The regional start-up spirit is promoted in cooperation with start-ups, established companies and other network actors. The TU Ilmenau is a member of the association Gründerforum Ilmenau e.V. and is active as a born member in the board of the association. The existing close cooperation with the Technology and Business Incubation Centre Ilmenau is maintained. Regional entrepreneurs are involved as mentors or experts for the opportunity or market assessment of start-up projects.
Establishment of continuing education measures
The TU Ilmenau designs, in particular for companies, tailor-made further education offers as a form of knowledge transfer, which support a transfer of research results into the economy.
Placement of specialists in companies, especially for regional needs
The Career Center of the TU Ilmenau is available to companies and other interested parties for the publication of internships, student work or job advertisements.
Offers for personnel exchange and the promotion of innovative personnel, especially for regional companies, are supported by the TU Ilmenau both to promote the professional orientation of its graduates, young scientists and to transfer highly qualified personnel to companies. Joint research projects with companies offer equally good conditions for a successful "personnel transfer" / "transfer over heads".
The TU Ilmenau as a competent and reliable partner for companies and other research partners.
At the TU Ilmenau, reliable framework conditions for transfer, especially for the fields of action "research cooperations", "property rights" and "spin-offs" are created and communicated to the partners. This includes reliable contact persons, reliable processes and transparent contractual framework conditions for cooperation.
Establishment of strategic collaborations with research and transfer partners
The targeted exchange with partners is promoted by the presence of scientists in the associations, clusters, regional associations and other networks relevant to their research profile. Special importance is attached to the cooperation of the TU Ilmenau with its affiliated institutes and the non-university research institutions in the vicinity of the university. These are included as strategic transfer partners in the transfer activities of the TU Ilmenau and thus better conditions are created in particular for the fields of action "research cooperations", "transfer via property rights" and "spin-offs". The targeted and sustainable establishment of endowed professorships in strategically important research areas, the support of innovative start-ups and of the settlement of research-strong institutions at the location support the application proximity of research work and thus the transfer.
In order to promote long-term cooperation with companies, the TU Ilmenau strives to conclude framework and cooperation agreements with strategic research partners.
Support for scientists at the TU Ilmenau
The scientists of the TU Ilmenau as essential actors of transfer are supported in their transfer activities in all fields of action by internal service facilities. In addition, the TU Ilmenau Transfer GmbH offers further possibilities for the provision of research-related services and for the commercial exploitation of research results, which can be used by all scientists at the TU Ilmenau
Fundamental, permanent service and consulting offers and temporary services
The service and consulting offers of the service facilities in the fields of action of the transfer, which are already established in the long term or still to be established, result from the transfer strategy, the support needs of the scientists, if necessary legal requirements and the requirements of our transfer partners. These include, for example, press and public relations work, the start-up service, further training offers, patent research or intellectual property work. In order to implement these services, the responsible service facilities are equipped with the appropriate capacities and the implementation of the services is regularly evaluated and, if necessary, adjusted in the sense of quality assurance.
In addition, temporary support needs can be met by offering services for a limited period of time. After evaluation and clarification of financing, these services can be integrated into the permanent portfolio of the service facilities.
Avoidance of duplicate structures, cooperation
Internal service offerings are matched with external offerings to avoid duplicate structures. Critical masses are created through exchange and cooperation with partners, e.g. the other Thuringian universities. Relevant networks already exist in the areas of start-up support, trade fair organization and intellectual property work.
by means of scientific publications, participation in event formats such as trade fairs, meetings and conferences, further training offers to third parties, consulting and expert opinions for companies and institutions, as well as activities (including participation in committees, associations, organizations) and communication measures aimed at a general, interested public and serving communication between science and society.
by means of joint research activities with research facilities, companies and institutions on the basis of cooperative research and development projects, contract research, and the joint use of infrastructures.
by means of professional and strategically oriented intellectual property work and exploitation of intellectual property rights.
by means of a founder-friendly climate at the university, the promotion of entrepreneurial thinking as well as the support and accompaniment of spin-offs from the TU Ilmenau.
The Ilmkubator Start-up Service is the responsible entity here.
by means of practical relevance in courses of study, the provision of highly qualified graduates as specialists for the regional and supra-regional economy, the promotion of the mobility of researchers between the TU Ilmenau and its cooperation partners, by means of the targeted establishment of strategically relevant endowed professorships.