University-Industry Technology Transfer and Coproduction: A Case Study
Keywords:University-Company, Technology transfer, Knowledge transfer, Coproduction, Innovation, CEURS Platform
Universities can promote entrepreneurship and innovation both by training professionals and by offering knowledge resulting from their research. Traditionally, industrial development has benefited from technology transfer (TT) from universities. Although the TT is very known and used, co-ownership and economic exploitation after a TT process remain a challenge to formal University-Industry agreements. In this study we discuss the notion of university-industry coproduction as a means to address formal agreement after TT. The case study is a Brazilian national Program, called CEURS - “Training and Studies for Urban and Regional Sustainability”. The main goal of CEURS is to provide practical training to individuals and teams on sustainability matters, focused on how to fulfill the UN's SDG 2030 Agenda locally (i.e., how to empower projects that are already at the community level so that they can become city programs). To do so, CEURS project was led by an academic network, sponsored by national government agencies. The project was developed at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) by academics and students of the Graduate Program in Engineering and Knowledge Management, from the research group on Co-production in Digital Commons, in Brazil. CEURS team has developed CEURS Platform, a digital education platform, currently in the process of being publicly transferred to be augmented and operated at a national level. In this article, we analyze the institutional technology transfer agreements available to CEURS regarding the need to meet project demands for technology licensing, technology transfer, open innovation, and joint patents. We offer a critical analysis of a current regulatory process in technology transfer in an academic project that combines education, development, and social demand fulfillment. We conclude that a technology transfer licensing agreement can include principles that may fulfill CEURS project needs for nationalization through university-industry co-production. This study contributes to academics, innovation offices, policymakers, and university managers in formulating diligent and fast processes and strategies through technology transfers.
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