Technology Transfer: The Role of Dialogue with Companies or Venture Capital Funds

Recently, ITTBioMed by Edra and DLA Piper, with the support of Lendlease, MIND, and T-Factor, organized the event “Patents and Secrets: Technology Transfer in Life Sciences.” The main objective of the event was to facilitate a fruitful exchange among experts in the biotech sector, aimed at consolidating its foundations in Italy and promoting the protection of industrial property and scientific know-how.

Paola Bagnoli, Head of the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at IRCCS Galeazzi, shared her experiences, emphasizing how a practical approach can be useful in learning and developing skills in technology transfer. “The Galeazzi TTO,” explained Bagnoli, “was recently founded and immediately sought to establish an active dialogue with the business and academic worlds.” Bagnoli highlighted the importance of intellectual property protection in the technology transfer process. She described a multifaceted approach that begins with scouting research results, then moves on to essential dialogue and researcher training in protecting their innovation. “A further step,” the TTO manager explained, “involves initiating conversations with companies or venture capital funds, especially when aiming to create startups or new ventures in the sciences.” This process is often crucial for developing technology to a maturity level that can attract interest, for example, from large multinational companies or facilitate indirect licenses, often representing the fastest route to market integration. Additionally, the speaker outlined work with the University of Milan in the Seed for Innovation project, aimed at supporting research and facilitating the transition of innovations from the laboratory to the market through small grants and training.
Another interesting example brought by Bagnoli is the PicArt project (Progenitor Cartilage Sales), initiated by two young researchers and their professors, who turned to her to explore the possibilities of developing and commercializing their innovation. At the national level, Galeazzi Hospital also participates in the “Life Science TTO NETWORK called PerfeTTO,” promoted by the Ministry of Health to improve training and collaboration in the sector and develop technology transfer activities and create new innovative companies in the Life Sciences sector.