Ireland’s biggest tech transfer consortium launched at UCC
A new UCC-led technology transfer consortium with a combined research revenue of almost €150 million was launched this week at the University.
The Bridge Network, which comprises technology transfer offices from UCC, Teagasc, Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT), will create a link for knowledge transfer expertise to be shared and used in the member institutions and build on major success to date with licensing, spin-out companies and research income.
Professor Patrick O’Shea, President of UCC, said: “By working together, the Bridge Network of the four technology transfer offices is an example of effective collaboration, creating best practice for commercialisation of research through the sharing of expertise, while managing IP effectively.”
“There have already been many success stories from our technology transfer offices, and together we are in a position to accelerate and drive further success in this area.”
Funded by Enterprise Ireland and supported by Knowledge Transfer Ireland, the Bridge Network consortium will apply its combined expertise to support the commercialisation of research, early stage spin-out companies, licensing and relationships with industry.
Over the last two years, UCC has boasted the largest industry-funded research income of universities in Ireland, with CIT similarly leading the Institutes of Technology for income from industry sources. With Teagasc and ITT, the consortium will create a model of national and international excellence.
"We in CIT are very pleased to be part of this consortium. CIT has a strong tradition of working with all of the partners and we expect to enjoy enormous gains from the partnership. Given our long history of engagement with industry and supporting startups we also expect to be a significant contributor to the consortium and its impact," said Dr Brendan Murphy, President, CIT.
Declan J. Troy, Director of Technology Transfer, Teagasc, said: “Teagasc has a long history of impactful research across all facets of agriculture and food research from primary production to high-value functional foods. As part of Teagasc’s commitment to deepening and extending this impact, membership of the Bridge Network under the leadership of UCC affords a platform to exchange best practice and attain maximum efficiency and client satisfaction in the transfer of new research and technology into the hands of the producers and companies.
“Furthermore, it has greatly increased our researchers’ appreciation of maximising such impact, thereby stimulating a greater level of meaningful engagements with Teagasc and the Irish agri-food sector.”
Dr Alison Campbell OBE, Director of Knowledge Transfer Ireland, described at the launch how the Bridge Network collaboration will drive and develop Ireland’s knowledge transfer system, supporting innovators and entrepreneurs and ultimately creating jobs for the economy.”
According to Dr Oliver Murphy, President of the Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT), the Bridge Network enables ITT to work closely with its consortium partners to ensure a consistent approach to academic-industry technology transfer activities is provided across the South and South West regions.
“ITT is committed to translating the outputs of its research and innovation activities into commercialised products that will stimulate new job creation. Leveraging the expertise of the Bridge Network TT consortium, our industry partners can be certain that they will continue to avail of the highest standards of knowledge transfer practices in their collaborations with ITT.”
The Bridge Network will create a programme to support engagement between spin-out companies, venture capitalists, angel investors, institutional investors and national agencies and bring together experienced tech entrepreneurs to act as mentors to early-stage companies.