A decade ago, you could count the spin-outs from DTU on one hand—now we are talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 a year, but we are still a long way from saturation point. With the physical expansion of DTU Skylab, we have created the foundation for people other than the students to find their place in the innovative environment. And I hope, not least, that many of our PhD students will take the opportunity to develop their ideas into new businesses.
Denmark has a tremendous need for new businesses, not least in the areas we deal with at DTU. Right now, sustainability is high on the agenda, but e.g. environmental technology, waste management, recycling, health, new forms of food and—of course—transport, roads, and housing, are also areas where we can contribute with new thinking and creative solutions that can be commercialized.
In recent years, a solid innovation infrastructure has been created at DTU. The administrative support system has grown in several directions, which has helped to strengthen the area. But it has also meant that for external and internal users it has been difficult to find the right entry point when seeking support on the road from idea to business enterprise. Now we are making the roles clearer and thus hope to have a better system that can move innovation up a gear.
We are gathering the supporting activities in one place—namely in DTU Skylab—while IPR Handling and Negotiations becomes part of Legal and Contracts in the Office for Research, Advice and Innovation.
In DTU Skylab, we are creating a team of innovation partners who, like the HR partners, will have direct contact with a number of departments. And innovation support functions such as mentoring, start-up support, and the enable programmes managed by Tech Transfer will now also be organized in DTU Skylab.
A Tech Trans team will concentrate on the negotiating and patent administrative side. Legal and Contracts will change its name to Legal and Tech Transfer, and among other things, the new entity will develop standard IP models for both existing companies and start-ups. This will increase transparency and simplify and shorten the workflow for most people, while allowing more time for special cases.